Workplace pressures and bullying have a detrimental impact on mental health. Handling of redundancies, disciplinary cases and uncertain job security can also leave individuals feeling that suicide is the only option. Few people know what to do if a colleague, customer or friend is suicidal; we aim to change this.
Our mission is to equip the nation’s workforce so they have the empathy, skills, resources and confidence to recognise and positively respond to any person (within and outside the workplace) who may be expressing suicidal thoughts or feelings.
We’ll do this by driving for a change in the law, making it compulsory for organisations to have a suicide policy and focus. At the heart of this policy will be guiding principles to help embed suicide awareness within company culture, as well as minimum standards in key areas of employee training, support, toolkits and risk assessments. This will help focus organisations on their social responsibility to support people in crisis across their communities.
This will be great for organisations, helping prevent suicide amongst colleagues and customers, as well as society, as we create a nationwide network of people in communities more aware of suicide and better prepared to give support where needed. Together we can save lives.
We are also driving for a change in how HSE capture death by suicide where the workplace is a factor (e.g. on work premises or where work was a factor). This is to recognise the role that colleague actions and inactions within the workplace can have on a person’s wellbeing.
Employees may be best placed to notice the signs of poor mental health and suicidal ideation in colleagues or customers. They may notice mood, behaviour or language change over time. When isolation or loneliness is a factor employees may be the only ones speaking with people at risk. Collectively, organisations can give people options and hope.
It is not currently a requirement for workplaces to report the occurrence of suicides to the Health and Safety Executive. Yet all other accidents, illnesses and near misses are reportable, even if they were not caused by a workplace hazard. Workplace suicide needs to be socially and legally recognised.
Enacting a suicide policy and capturing death by suicide within HSE statistics can and will reduce the incidence of suicide deaths.
It means that we are a limited company that is driven by its community purpose, rather than stakeholders. As a CIC, we can receive funding, grants or donations and all assets can only be used to benefit the community.
The team at WASP are all volunteers, each with a passion for suicide prevention and a focus on workplace awareness.
WASP is registered with the Community Interest Companies Regulator and Companies House.