Julie Dunane CG Professional

10 October 2019: World Mental Health Day

Julie Duane, Solicitor Advocate at CG Professional.

Each year the World Federation for Mental Health strives to focus on ways in which people can improve their mental health.  This year the focus is on suicide prevention, with the aim of improving people’s understanding of mental health and its importance to their physical as well as general wellbeing.

What’s the purpose of the campaign?

The purpose of the campaign is for individuals who suffer from mental health issues to talk about their concerns without fear of being judged, whilst educating wider society on the signs to generate awareness and support for those who need it most.  The campaign intends to help people identify the general problems they may be having as part of everyday life and those which can be considered serious long-term conditions.

This year’s campaign is committed to suicide prevention

Evidence surrounding the campaign suggests that every 40 seconds someone loses their life to suicide.  Statistics also suggests that for every suicide that occurs there are more than 20 suicide attempts prior to that.  With each attempt it isn’t something that only affects the individual, but it also has a ripple effect on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.  Statistics have shown that around 800,000 people have lost their lives to suicide every year.

Helping to prevent suicide

In order to try and help those suffering from mental health conditions the World Health Organisation have identified some key areas which can prove to be effective:

  1. helping people develop skills to cope with life pressures;
  2. early identification and management of people are thinking about suicide/have made attempts and keeping follow-up contact with them in the shorter longer term;
  3. encourage communication between parties; and
  4. working with the media to ensure responsible reporting of suicide in order to try and prevent this.

What support is there?

The World Health Organisation has identified ways in which you can help join and support the movement such as purchasing green ribbon pins which will contribute towards the charity. There are also various media publications in order to educate and inform people about mental health issues in the workplace, along with publications in order to try and prevent suicide attempts. 

Employers should note that educating and teaching good mental health practices in the workplace can help protect against the development of many such problems.

Where individuals require assistance with their mental health concerns there are a variety of portals including:

  1. talking to the Samaritans;
  2. Shout crisis text line;
  3. Rethink mental illness;
  4. speaking to a confidant and trying to contextualise the emotions;
  5. speaking to a doctor or a GP and engaging specialist mental health services.

Employers may also want to consider adopting Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training in order to support the overall health and happiness of the people they support and work with. Organisations such as Advocacy Focus may be able to assist with this, https://www.advocacyfocus.org.uk/Pages/Category/mental-health-first-aid-training

If you have any questions regarding the content of this article or have a query which you would like to discuss with a member of the CG Team, please do not hesitate to contact us.