Society of Occupational Medicine
The SOM is the largest nationally recognised professional organisation for individuals with an interest in health and work. SOM acts as a national voice for occupational health, engaging with government and policy makers to increase awareness of the role of occupational health. Our Patrons are Lord Blunkett, Dame Carol Black and Sir Norman Lamb, MP. Membership is for anyone working in, or with a professional interest in occupational health. Members are multidisciplinary, and include doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, technicians, and psychologists.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We work with other organisations to promote mental health in the workplace, and we produce guidance documents such as: Mental Health and the Workplace, and in conjunction with the Charlie Waller Foundation Looking after your mental wellbeing: A guide for Occupational Health Practitioners.
In October 2018 we released a joint report with The Louise Tebboth Foundation on the mental health of UK doctors – you can read this here.
We run an annual event on work and mental health with the British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology. The event is free to attend, for more details please see the events section of our website.
On World Mental Health Day 2019 we released a joint statement with The Louise Tebboth Foundation, Doctors in Distress and the BACP on suicide and health professionals.
In 2020 we will be releasing a report on mental health and nurses (as a follow up to our 2018 report on mental health and doctors). We are also in the very early stages of producing a document on suicide postvention in health professional settings (working again with The Louise Tebboth Foundation).
What are your current priorities?
The mental health of health professionals, particularly doctors and nurses. A report on mental health and nurses is to be launched early next year. We are also in the very early stages of producing a document on suicide postvention in health professional settings (working again with The Louise Tebboth Foundation).
What challenges are you currently facing?
-Ensuring occupational health is seen as an essential part of improving health in workplaces.
-Getting the Government to support investment in training of occupational health professionals.