Did you know that over 1,600 Ohio residents die each year from suicide, and that for every death, it’s estimated that six people will be deeply affected by it for the rest of their lives? Nationwide, suicide generally accounts for 41,000 deaths per year and is the tenth leading cause of death in the US (as of 2015). In Ashland County alone, 89 people died from suicide between the years 2000 and 2013 according to our stats.
While it is often believed that suicide attempts inevitably lead to death, the reality is, if people in crisis get the help they need, many suicides can be prevented. Anyone can help prevent suicide—you don’t have to be an expert or a professional mental health care worker in order to make a difference in the life of a person in crisis. The key, however, is proper training in suicide awareness and prevention so that you know how to respond.
Where to Start
Since most of us spend a large amount of time at work, the workplace is a great setting to begin suicide awareness training. Many people in crisis will show signs of suicidal thinking and behavior at work—and spending so much time with co-workers may allow us to notice when someone is struggling. We’re more likely to notice, however, if we’ve been trained to be aware of the warning signs, which include talking about wanting to die, expressing feelings of hopelessness, talking about being a burden to others, and more.
Additionally, suicide while at work is on the rise. According to a Washington Post report, the number of workplace suicides rose 11 percent between 2017 and 2018 alone, for a total of 304.
This fact makes it even more important that both employees and employers receive training. Beyond allowing people to recognize the warning signs of suicide, suicide awareness training can also help dispel these common myths that surround the issue:
- That confronting a person about suicide will only make them more likely to do it.
- That most suicidal people don’t tell anyone about their plans.
- That people who talk about suicide don’t actually do it.
- That once a person starts talking about attempting suicide, nothing can stop it.
- That you have to be an expert to help.
Suicide awareness training can also help us know how to begin a conversation with a person we suspect is in crisis, as well as how to respond if someone discloses their struggles to us.
The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County offers valuable workplace suicide awareness training, and we encourage all area businesses to take advantage of this. The mission of our program is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical, and proven suicide prevention training. Contact us today to schedule a training session for your workplace.
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