September is Suicide Prevention Month
September is Suicide Prevention Month, and OSHA is urging employers to actively promote available resources to all workers. The month includes National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 4-10) and Construction Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 5-9).
Suicide is a leading cause of death among working-age adults in the United States, OSHA says. Additionally, 2 out of 5 U.S. adults have a mental health issue or substance use disorder, according to the CDC.
By demonstrating their commitment to a safe and healthy workplace, employers can play an important role in reducing stigma and promoting mental health. In return, they may experience benefits such as improved workplace safety, higher morale, increased productivity, reduced turnover and decreased operating costs.
The agency’s Preventing Suicides webpage has resources on developing mental health and safety programs, so workers can get the help they need. Among the goals of these programs:
- Strive to create a workplace environment that fosters open communication and a sense of belonging.
- Implement a workplace safety and health program that proactively identifies and addresses hazards that could lead to injuries or illnesses.
- Provide resources and programs that promote employee health and well-being, as well as support work-life balance.
- Inform employees of resources and treatment services available for mental health and substance use disorders through employee assistance or health insurance programs, or in the community.
- Provide accommodations and return-to-work assistance for employees seeking treatment or who are in recovery.