Over 2,000 Australians take their lives every year. The majority of these deaths are among people of working age (25-44), and research suggests almost one in five of these suicides is employment-related. Males are more at risk of dying in this way than females, with a suicide rate up to four times higher.
The workplace is therefore a critically important focus for suicide prevention activities and promotion of good mental health.
‘SANE Australia endorses and applauds the SPA Statement issued today,’ says Jack Heath, CEO of the mental health charity.
‘Australia has the capacity to halve the suicide rate within ten years if we have the will and resources to do it.’
‘The tragic loss of life among working age adults is an issue that urgently needs to be tackled in the workplace itself, where we spend so much of our lives, and which can be the source of so much stress – especially to those who are vulnerable because of poor mental health or other factors.’
‘The workplace is also a great place to connect with men who might be struggling.’
The SPA Statement outlines a range or recommendations for employers to promote mental health and suicide prevention, as well as action needed by government to address systemic issues such as unemployment, workers compensation and coronial processes.
The position statement on Work and Suicide Prevention can be downloaded at http://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/resources
Suicide prevention is integral to all of SANE Australia’s activities, from development of resources through to staff training, and special projects including support for people bereaved by suicide.
SANE Australia is a member of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention, which supports the work of SPA.