Blog: Today we are Working Together to Prevent Suicide

By: Chrissie Clarke

Head of People Programmes and Operations
cclarke@maritimeuk.org

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Today, 10 September, marks World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). An annual awareness day created to establish worldwide commitment and action on suicide prevention. The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for many, maritime included, and it is important to talk about this issue, as difficult as it might feel for some.

At our second Mental Health in Maritime Network meeting on 17 September we will be opening the important conversation of suicide prevention to increase awareness and understanding. We are dedicated to breaking the silence and stigma surrounding mental ill health and believe it is essential to providing a safe and healthy workplace, which can play a vital role in suicide prevention.

We are encouraging the maritime sector today to remind your colleagues, friends and family that they are not alone. We are asking organisations to #StartTheConversation with your colleagues and encourage participation in the Mental Health in Maritime Network. As a network, we are empowering the sector to help break the stigma which can be a barrier for those seeking help.

Together we are ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.

Our Mental Health in Maritime Network was established, as part of the Diversity in Maritime programme, to provide a safe, collaborative place to:

1. Share information among all organisations, in support of aiding others to achieve and develop mental health management practices by: 

  • Engaging, connecting and collaborating with organisations who have developed Mental Health and Suicide Prevention strategies for the UK maritime sector;
  • Bench-marking current training provisions  
  • Providing bench-marking tools for the maritime sector against mental health standards.

2. Gather and share case studies profiling maritime organisations best practice guides and policies to assist and improve mental health across the sector including, but not limited, to: 

  • Time to Speak  
  • Toolkits for bringing crews together onboard.

3. Provide individuals working in the maritime sector and companies with relevant information about mental health resources, best practice guides and toolkits including, but not limited to: 

  • Creating a mentally healthy workplace 
  • Treating people well  
  • Creating a safe space.

The next network catch up will be on Thursday 17 September from 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom. You can register here.