Safer Highways and Mates in Mind to collaborate on Round Table around Suicide Prevention.

Two organisations to host high level discussions about proactive prevention of suicide on the public highway.

Safer Highways and Mates in Mind charity are to jointly host a round table discussion on the proactive steps that our sector can take to impact the number of suicides taking place on the public highway.

Taking place on 22nd March at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, the high level discussion, attended by a small number of key thought leaders, and carried out under Chatham House rules will focus upon the following:

· The scale of the issue linked to suicide on the network.

· The financial impact of this on UK PLC

· Identification of best practice around zero suicide

· Proactive steps we can take to equip our workforces with the practical skills required

· Spotting the signs of deteriorating mental health in our own people

· How we support our people post incident (Trauma)

Speaking about the launch of the round table and the reasons behind it , Kevin Robinson, CEO of Safer Highways said, “Over the last few years suicides in construction have been on the rise; in 2021 was 507, most of which are male (503). This figure constitutes a rise of 24 from the previous year and 25 more than the previous five year average and equates to 34 per 100,000 in employment. This is the highest rate since analysis of this data began.

“Add into this the number of potential suicides on the road network by members of the public and the problem become a very large one.

“Our workforce are often the first on scene and each year there are dozens of reports where the quick thinking actions of an individual played a significant part in the prevention of loss of life, most of the time simply following there instinct with little or no formal training.

“By Bringing together industry leaders and subject matter experts we hope to change the landscape.

Adding to the sentiment Sarah Meek, CEO of Mates In Mind said, ‘There is a lot we can do to focus on the prevention and positive approach to mental health in the workplace. We must avoid an over-reliance on the safety net of waiting for a person to reach crisis before signposting them to the broad range of services available. In our experience, raising awareness across the whole workforce and giving people the confidence and skills to start these important conversations helps to break down barriers and stigma to someone seeking help at an earlier stage and creating a safe space to do so. We look forward to building on our work with the Highways Network and bringing people together in this focused way.’


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