Let’s talk about suicide.

Thursday 10th September marks World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

As a business founded with a mission to change and save lives, every member of Champion Health is dedicated to preventing suicides in the workplace and beyond.

That’s why we have published a free guide on suicide prevention, helping to dispel the myths and provide actionable steps everybody can take to support someone with suicidal thoughts.

For us, World Suicide Prevention Day has come at an incredibly poignant time this year. Recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that suicide in males is at the highest rate in two decades. Not only that, but suicide is the leading cause of death in men under the age of 45.

These incredibly stark figures make for difficult reading, and show just how important it is to check in on your colleagues, friends or family – even if they don’t appear to be struggling.

Our CEO and co-founder, Harry Bliss, knows from personal experience how important this is:

“In 2018, a friend of mine took their own life. On the face of it, he had everything; an amazing wife and family, a supportive group of friends and held a position as a director at a global company. It only goes to show, those that we believe have it all can also be struggling.

After he died, it changed my outlook on life. I don’t want any families or friendship groups to endure the gut-wrenching feeling at the funeral and beyond. That’s why everyone should be clear on the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and be brave enough to start a conversation if something doesn’t feel right.”

The stigma and misconceptions around suicide make it difficult to know where to start, but asking about suicide could save someone’s life. This is echoed in the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day this year, encouraging us to “work together to prevent suicide”.

We can therefore all play our part in looking out for those around us, from individuals to communities, and even employers and organisations. Our Head of Mission, Steve Phillip, explains:

“Employers need to implement more proactive measures around employee welfare, which involve conversations not just around performance but wellbeing also. It took my son, Jordan, a very long time to speak to his manager about his mental health problems and sadly he took his own life shortly after.

When proactive measures to support employee wellbeing and suicide prevention are implemented in the workplace, we will start to see happier and healthier workplaces. It can truly save lives.”

You can watch Steve speaking on the One Team Gov World Suicide Prevention Day webinar on 10th September at 2.25pm. For more information and to register for free, please click here.

We know that suicide is complex. It’s rarely a consequence of a single factor and everyone’s experiences are different. However, knowing how to spot the warning signs and start a conversation can be a life-saving intervention.

To access our free guide, please download it here

To show your support and encourage others to start the conversation, please also feel free to display and share our icon below – on your profile, in your emails or directly with your friends and family!