Work Stress Management

We are a specialist provider of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) and comprehensive HR-led wellbeing services.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

We have a team of clinical staff who are trained to assess all clients for risk and of suicidal ideation – both disclosed and hidden; signs disclosed and hidden. Our clinical processes are developed in line with good practice and recommendations from local and national policy when it comes to preventing the likelihood of suicide.

We make training available to all staff and, through our policies and procedures, we support each other to escalate any concerns where suicide or risk of harm to self may be a factor; these signs can be complex to spot so we take a multi-layered approach using a combination of direct questions/outcome measures and context to try and prevent suicide. We know that one approach never fits all circumstances so our assessments of risk when it comes to suicide prevention and risk are fluid, responsive and focused on addressing the risk and trying to install hope for a different way forward for those considering suicide.

Additionally, we work with a network of counsellors that cover the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland; we have additional procedures in place that support this network as they are also supporting people in counselling who at the time may be at risk of suicide. We offer clinical support and training to this network as needed, we offer case reviews and consultation whenever there is a concern raised about risks.
As a service, we do things ad-hoc such as follow up calls, check in calls when we have cause for concern about someone, we do all we can to try and ensure we have been part of the process that can reduce the likelihood of someone making the decision to end their own life.

Supporting those impacted:
We offer support through our clinical teams in the moment, when people are calling our support line, we also provide critical response services to organisations who may be affected by suicide losses, sending in specialist counsellors who are trauma informed and trained to support people who are impacted by tragic events.

Additionally, we not only take part in training, but offer it around suicide as needed and are always looking to develop training and information that can help in this area.

We have a risk policy that all our staff must read and sign which includes information on management and awareness of individuals at risk of suicide or with suicidal ideation.

Our focus is to build in processes so that, at any point of a client journey with us, we are aware that the risk of harm to self can be present or become present.

We also build in communication pathways with providers and refers, so where we see there are concerns and it is appropriate to share this information we will do so, we will also often engage emergency services as needed to help in critical situations.

We also want to make sure as colleagues we are all ok, so we check in, offer support, have great awareness of the impact of vicarious trauma, we ensure that our clinical staff get monthly clinical supervision time and all colleagues can be supported by clinical colleagues if they need it.

We also offer clinical support to affiliates and providers of services if they feel they may be impacted by discussion around suicide.
Everything we do is continually reviewed and updated when it comes to suicide prevention, we want to make a difference and as we serve those who have mental health or wellbeing challenges then we are often key to being able to do so.

What are your current priorities?

Our current priorities are ensuring that staff feel empowered to approach the topic of suicide prevention, to do this we need to provide them with up-to-date information and provide a supportive environment for them to learn.

It is also to ensure that our processes are up to date, and we remain at the forefront of our knowledge regarding recommendation or improvement we can make when trying to prevent suicide, we are currently in a period of transformation reviewing all internal documents and process, we are clinically led. Trauma aware and informed and want to prioritise effective risk management.

We want to foster an open environment to discuss risk and suicide so that we all feel comfortable discussing and making the changes needed to provide the most effective proactive support we can.

What challenges are you currently facing?

Breaking the barrier of suicide being a taboo subject that is, understandably, challenging to talk about openly.

We are also challenged by the mental health crisis we are all seeing and the increase in risk and complex presentation of the population in general, as an EAP we see an increasing amount of complexity and need coming to us, this can be a challenge in terms of resource and the limitations of the support we can offer.

Other services are often saturated and facing challenges which means we see an increasing demand to support people at higher risk of suicide.