Communicating About Mental Health: World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day

Mental health is likely a key focus area for your company, especially as COVID-19 continues to upend life as we know it.

According to the Business Group’s 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, mental health is a top focus for employers in addressing employees’ needs during the pandemic and 43% of employers have added new mental health benefits/offerings to support employees working from home. As you continue to communicate about mental health, two global health observances – World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and World Mental Health Day (October 10) provide effective linchpins in your efforts to communicate about mental health. Storytelling can also be a powerful strategy to use when conveying key messages about this sensitive topic.

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10, 2020

Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide, and many more people attempt to hurt or kill themselves. September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide isn’t something that is unique to any country or region of the world. While over 79% of suicides take place in low- or middle- income countries, suicide rates in the U.S., rose across the country between 1999 and 2016. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide are dealing with additional mental and financial strain.

Here are relevant Business Group resources on suicide prevention and postvention:

World Mental Health Day – October 10, 2020

Mental and substance use disorders are leading causes of disability around the world. The strain of the global pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues. Treatment can be effective, yet between 76% and 85% of people in low- and middle-income countries and between 35% and 50% of people in high-income countries receive no mental health care.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is investing in mental health services. Employers have long invested in mental health, and this work has accelerated during the pandemic. In several parts of the world, employee assistance programs are the only mental health services available to employees. To fill gaps in service options, employers are looking at new players in the mental health space. More work is needed in this space, and employers are leading those efforts.

Here are additional relevant resources on mental health:

For more employer resources, please visit the section of the Business Group’s website on mental and emotional well-being. To learn more from employers and experts, please participate in Workforce Strategy virtually as it has several mental well-being sessions.