Making Suicide Prevention a Health and Safety Priority

I am a Leader

The notion that business leaders are supposed to take action may seem irrelevant or overwhelming. It’s common for leaders to assume that mental health professionals are addressing these personal issues and that they should be handled outside of work. The truth is everyone can play a role in suicide prevention, and leadership engagement is critical in guiding the cultural norms that make suicide prevention efforts successful. Leaders set the tone for mental wellness and the importance of psychological safety through their words, policies, and actions. Rather than waiting for tragedy to strike, they want to be the first to try and prevent it. The reward for this courage is felt almost immediately, as people tend to come forward and offer their own personal struggles or losses. Then, peers “lean in” to learn more and a domino effect ensues.

 

Leaders who publicly support their employees’ actions to take care of their mental health greatly influence the rest of the workforce.

While there is no harm in stepping forward, there is great risk in holding back.

“I have had a couple of guys who probably needed to talk to someone, but I don’t know how to bring that up.” - Foreman

RK video– “Leadership in Action: Case Study RK”:

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