September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, which is the ideal time to consider training one or more of your staff in suicide awareness.
Every Life Matters is offering free hour-long sessions, delivered online through Zoom. You can sign-up for the training here.
Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston said: “An average of one person a week dies by suicide in Cumbria, which is a shocking statistic, and we know that the coronavirus pandemic has made the problem worse.
“But suicide is preventable. This course enables participants to understand how to spot when someone is at risk, how to talk about suicide and how to offer practical support.
“These are potentially life-savings skills, which is why we’re encouraging business to put forward employees for the training.”
Last year the Chamber helped to launch ‘This is Me’ in Cumbria, a national campaign to end the stigma around mental health issues.
Anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress affect one-in-four British workers while absence and lost productivity caused by mental ill health are estimated to cost businesses between £33bn and £42bn a year.
Rob added: “These statistics pre-date Covid-19. My hunch is that the bill for mental ill health is likely to be even greater now.
“We’re living through extraordinary times. We owe it to ourselves and our employees to look out for each other. If nothing else, the pandemic has highlighted the duty of care we have as employers.”