Trained mental health first aiders at GreenSquare have visited trades and construction teams across their development sites in Wiltshire, handing out snack bags and information on mental health support as part of World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September).
World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the main purpose is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
Official figures show that the rate of suicides in Britain has risen sharply to its highest level since 2002, with men accounting for three-quarters of the number of people who took their own lives last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.
GreenSquare has 19 qualified mental health first aiders accredited by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA) who are available as a referral point for employees suffering from mental health issues; they can offer guidance, and also signpost them to relevant health-focused organisations to seek additional support and assistance.
The mental health first aiders spent the morning visiting trades and constructions teams, typically male-dominated, at their development sites including Middlefields in Chippenham, Hares Chase in Cricklade and the Dogridge development in Purton.
Kerry Cope, Learning and Development Advisor at GreenSquare, said: “We want colleagues to know that we are here to offer guidance to those who are based both in and outside the office. It has been great for the mental health first aiders to get out and about to our different developments and raise awareness about a key mental health issue. While many mental health issues are experienced by both men and women, some difficulties and influences on mental health can be especially relevant for men.”
Ian Potts, site manager at Middlefields, said: “We were pleased to get a visit from our mental health first aiders as part of World Suicide Prevention Day and the snacks went down well! It’s saddening to hear of the most recent statistics regarding male suicide. I think more needs to be done to reduce the stigma around men’s mental health so that they feel able to talk about any issues and so they also know where they can go to get support.”
More information about World Suicide Prevention Day can be found on the IASP’s website https://www.iasp.info/wspd2019/