The primary goal of Hope at Work is to provide practical assistance and tools that any workplace can use to support suicide prevention, to become Suicide Safer, and to promote hope and compassion at work. We encourage all workplaces, private and public, big and small, to commit to becoming Suicide Safer and playing a role in suicide prevention in Canada.
There are many things that any workplace can do to support suicide prevention and become Suicide Safer. To help you get started, we have created a list of things you can do, including some very simple activities that will promote help-seeking behaviour, encourage good mental health, and help save lives. These ideas can be applied in workplaces of all shapes and sizes, and they represent just a few of the things that can be done to become Suicide Safer.
It is our hope that this list will be used to help your workplace establish its own strategy for suicide prevention and mental health promotion. All of the resources listed can be downloaded for free from theresources section of this webpage and purchased in hardcopy [link].
- Posters advertising local crisis/distress lines – display these in shared/common workspaces such as lunch rooms and reception areas, and also in the Human Resources office.
- Help cards for both the local crisis/distress line and the De stress website www.de-stress.ca – make sure these are available to all employees.
- “When to Ask about Suicide and What to Do about Suicide” postcards – make sure these are available to all employees.
- “Calm in the Storm – Coping with the Stresses of Life” (handbook and App) – make sure these are available to all employees.
- General resource information on mental health – make sure the information and regular updates are available to all employees, as well as any new resources on mental wellness.
- Information on community mental health and social services – distribute any monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly notices/bulletins to all employees, and circulate information on new/different resources or social services.
- The “Let’s Talk about Suicide” video – make sure employees are aware of and have had the opportunity to view this video.
- Employee Assistance Program – make sure employees are aware of and have access to this program.
- Protocol to support employees who have experienced a suicide in their family or at work – establish and/or make it known to employees that this is in place, and make the handbook “After a Suicide” available to all employees.
- World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th – participate in organised activities or host your own event. For information about Suicide Prevention day in Manitoba, visit www.reasontolive.ca or CASP at www.suicideprevention.ca.
- Mental Health Week – support this initiative and participate in organized events. For more information on Mental Health Week, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association of Canada at www.cmha.ca.
- Appoint a suicide prevention and mental wellness champion and/or establish a leadership committee – get all employees involved in recognizing suicide prevention and mental health as a health and safety priority.
- Health and wellness events – organize these events and/or workshops for employees on such topics as:
- work/life balance
- managing stress
- men and depression
- spiritual health
- mental health and wellness
- suicide prevention
- psychological trauma and recovery
- bullying in the workplace
- suicide bereavement
- Suicide Prevention Training – provide this training for key employees in programs such as ASIST or SafeTALK. For more information on ASIST and SafeTALK, visit www.livingworks.net.
- Mental Health First Aid Training – provide this training for key employees. To learn more, visit www.mentalhealthcommission.ca.
- A psychologically safe workplace – make the commitment to implement strategies that will promote workers’ psychological well-being. To learn more, visit www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com or www.mentalhealthcommission.ca.
- Volunteerism – provide employees one paid day to do volunteer work in their community. Promote generosity and giving back to others as a key contributor to good mental health.
- Other ideas – contact your local suicide prevention committee/network to find out what you can do to support suicide prevention in your community.
If you would like to make a public commitment and be recognized as a workplace contributing to a Suicide-Safer community, we would love to hear from you. This commitment is voluntary and only requires that you make a sincere effort, to the best of your ability, to integrate suicide prevention practices in your workplace. Workplaces that choose to make a Suicide-Safer workplace pledge will be acknowledged with a certificate from Hope at Work in recognition of this important commitment.
BECOME A MEMBER OF CASP –If your workplace is interested in supporting suicide prevention in Canada, you can show your support by becoming a member of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP). CASP is a charitable organization and receives no public funding. CLICK HERE to learn more about CASP and become a member.