A Glasgow-based training expert whose parents died by suicide is urging businesses to raise awareness of mental health to mark World Suicide Prevention Day .
Nicky Denegri says there are tools that companies can put in place to support employees, help prevent suicidal behaviour and address some of the stigma that still exists around suicidal deaths.
Scotland has the highest rate of suicidal deaths in the UK and, according to the Office of National Statistics, for every one suicide recorded, an additional 25 people make a suicide attempt.
Executive coach Nicky, who works with training specialist Kissing with Confidence, said, “Unfortunately suicide amongst young people is increasing, especially amongst those who work in skilled trade occupations.
“Suicide is the result of a convergence of risk factors including, but not limited to, genetic, psychological, social and cultural risk factors, sometimes combined with experiences of trauma or loss. Recent studies of survivors of suicide however, have showed that they don’t want to die but that the pain is so hard to endure they have no other way of knowing how to make it stop.
“Relatives and close friends of people who die by suicide are also a high risk group for suicide which is why we need to be more aware of how we can help. People are often reluctant to intervene when they are worried for others.
“They may not feel knowledgeable enough, but people in distress are usually looking for someone to listen to them with compassion and empathy and, importantly, feeling suicidal is often temporary.
“As part of companies’ mental health policies I would urge these to be extended to encourage conversations at work as there is still a sense of shame around suicidal deaths for families who are affected.
“There are a number of awareness tools that can be introduced such as training first aiders in mental health to recognise signs and symptoms, providing information and workshops and highlighting support organisations such as the Samaritans and CALM .
“It’s important that we all encourage awareness and try to destigmatise suicide as its results are devastating for those affected.”
Kissing with Confidence provides programmes on business growth, leadership and pitching for individuals and teams located all over the world.
An internationally experienced keynote speaker, trainer, coach and facilitator, Nicky works at the highest levels of government and academia as well as at board level in commercial organisations.