By Jon Hyman
Jul. 24, 2019
A recent headline at businessinsurance.com caught my eye:
Next, employers need to increase awareness and reduce the stigma that surround mental health issues. Stigma and silence are the two biggest reasons why those that need help don’t receive it. What can employers do to recognize and help an at-risk employee?
1. Be aware of individual risk factors for suicide. You cannot always prevent suicide, but you can understand some of the risk factors so that can recognize when an employee might be in crisis and in need of help.
2. Provide mental-health awareness training to managers and supervisors. They spend the most time observing their employees, and are often in the best position to observe behavioral changes and risk factors, and hear from co-workers that someone might be in danger. Some of the warning signs for everyone to look for include:
3. Consider implementing a comprehensive psychological health and safety management program to help improve overall workplace culture and resolve issues more effectively. This program would include eliminating stigma related to mental health issues; developing an inclusive working environment for all; and ensuring that you have a confidential Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP) that offers support and counseling services and that your employees are aware of it.
4. Educate all employees and support those are struggling. This effort includes mental-health awareness and suicide prevention education to employees; reducing stigmas relating to protected classes, mental illness, substance use disorder, and suicide; expanding awareness of mental illness and addiction; encouraging help-seeking for those at-risk; creating a caring and supporting work environment, including the promotion of listening and interpersonal skills to help all employees.
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