GMG are marking World Suicide Prevention Day 2021 by making a commitment to listen to staff members who may be struggling to cope with life.
Every year, September 10 is set aside as the day to promote the worldwide campaign to reduce the number of people taking their own lives and raise awareness of the issue and the ways in which it can be tackled.
This year’s theme is “Creating Hope Through Action”, which dovetails perfectly with GMG’s commitment to workers young and old who may be in despair and who are in need of help.
The company have pledged to ensure that trained “Listeners” in special high-vis vests will be on hand to hear from those who are mentally struggling and who may just need someone to talk to about what is troubling them at any given time.
This opportunity to start a conversation has been proved to be invaluable in the fight against suicide – because there is nothing inevitable about suicide and with the right support at the right time it can be preventable.
Most people contemplating taking their own lives do not want to die – they just want to end the pain they are experiencing at a particular time.
And talking openly about feelings can help a person get clarity about what is bringing them down by giving them some perspective on their distress.
Simply being there for them and listening without judgement shows that the “Listener” cares and that the person’s wellbeing is important to them.
GMG are committed to employment and supporting their staff and in particular their young people. At present the company have 40-plus apprentices, and, as a company, they have had first-hand experience of supporting staff through mental health challenges and addiction
A spokesman said: “To support our staff, we work with a local business psychologist who has helped us to develop our ‘Listener’ strategy.
“We have been able to identify willing employees to be ‘Listeners’ and we have coached them to deal with certain situations.
“And, through time, all of our ‘Listeners’ – who can be easily identified by their high-vis vests – will be certified Mental Health First Aiders.
“It is important to GMG to champion this preventative action. We have supported some staff through the rehabilitation programmes run by Cocaine Anonymous, Gambling Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. We have also supported individuals with depression and anxiety.
“Our culture is very much to promote positive mental wellbeing and to support those who are struggling, with our primary aim being to listen and then work on supporting each person in a very individual way.”
In 2020 (the latest figures available), 805 suicides were registered in Scotland – 575 males and 230 females.
World Suicide Prevention day is hosted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and is supported by national and local-level mental health and wellness organisations as well as government agencies.
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