We need to take the opportunities to prevent suicide, says GRiD

Not many people just wake up one day, having been fine the day before, and decide to kill themselves. There’s generally a long, tortuous journey to that point – alongside which, there are many opportunities for interventions.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: ‘It’s important that we identify those opportunities and make those interventions. This might be outside the remit or expertise for many, but support is available within group risk products, and employers have the opportunity to save a life if they offer them and encourage their staff to use the help they provide.’

Support within group risk products is wide and varied and includes help for businesses, line managers, HRs and employees. It includes early intervention, treatment, fast access to talking therapies, signposting to mental health first aid training, ongoing regular support and contact.

No death by suicide is acceptable or inevitable, and one of the most important steps in preventing suicide is improving access to support. Sometimes, there are limited opportunities to make a difference, so it’s important that those who are suicidal, and others who could help them, know that support is available and how to access it.

1,851 people returned to work through mental health early interventions funded by group risk insurers during 2018 and 293 claims were paid for deaths by suicide.*

Moxham continued: ‘The numbers belie the reality. For every person struggling with their mental health, or who dies by suicide, there are many more affected: colleagues, family, friends. And the group risk industry doesn’t just support the individual with their mental health challenges, but also those around them: financially, following suicide; and/or emotionally - and that’s a lifeline to help people get back on track. The subject may still be surrounded by taboo, but offering support should be commonplace. There’s a real need to talk about suicide and to change perceptions, so that people see it as preventable and avoidable, and that everyone is able to support someone who is at risk.’

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