Now, more than ever, is the time for investing in your staff’s mental wellbeing.
The advent of Corona Virus means that existing mental health fragilities are heightened, and many people are experiencing vulnerabilities such as anxiety for the first time.
These challenges will not go away overnight. And they could affect your business. Which is why we would like to speak to you to see how we can help provide mental health support services to your employees.
SOS currently host public and private meetings through Zoom as our physical meetings are on hold until we are all safe from the threat of the virus.
Our aim is simple – bringing people together, however they’ve been affected by suicide, whatever mental health challenges they are facing, and initiating a conversation in an environment that is free from shame, stigma and silence.
By encouraging the sharing experiences and feelings, we can help people to grow their own support networks within your business environment and help you better understand the needs of your staff.
Besides meeting with then Prime Minister, Theresa May in 2016 and our subsequent input into the Government’s suicide prevention plan in relation to the workplace, SOS have worked alongside organisations of all sizes, helping to support existing mental health policies and encouraging the introduction of provision for all staff.
We have hosted events all over the country, for all types of business – from Government departments to Council backed meetings, festivals to non mental health charities, large corporates to pubs!
Below is just some of the great feedback SOS has received:
Nick Syson, Health & Wellbeing Champion and Partner within the Banking Practice, Linklaters LLP London
‘As part of our Health & Wellbeing programme’s focus on Mental Health we hosted a ‘Silence of Suicide’ session. This was the first time the firm addressed this topic, and the large turnout on the day proved how important it is to talk about and openly recognise suicide. During the seminar Michael shared the tragic story of his daughter’s suicide and both him and Yvette spoke about SOS’s aim to address the ‘elephant in the room’, raising awareness and encouraging conversations about suicide. As one attendee said: “It was an open forum with frank discussion.” Michael and Yvette were described as ‘open and relatable’ and the audience appreciated that their candour in ‘talking about an issue that we all face and should discuss.’ The ‘Silence of Suicide’ film which accompanied the session was described as “very poignant and it was received in a spirit of empathy, kindness and interest.”
We as a firm believe that we benefited immeasurably from the Silence of Suicide session. It has encouraged us to break down barriers and start the conversation on a topic that needs more talking about. ‘
We were really grateful that you and Michael came in to talk to us, and we benefited immeasurably from it.
Andy Latham Health, Safety and Wellbeing manager – Next Group
‘Through SOS Silence of Suicide, Michael and Yvette demonstrate their passion, energy and belief that breaking downthe stigma associated with talking about suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide related b ereavement is fundamental to helping those affected. The safe space they create at their SOS events is demonstrably important to those who attend as evidenced by the feedback received after the events held at Next last year. We firmly believe that an ongoing relationship with SOS Silence of Suicide is important for the continued strength of our corporate Wellbeing Programme.’
Senior Law Lecturer Phil Drake – Huddersfield University
Nearly two hundred people attended Yorkshire’s first SOS networking event.
He said: “It was an incredibly moving event that started off as a discussion
about a taboo subject and ended with people sharing their stories and being heard in a supportive and caring environment. Thank you for a fantastic event that was both insightful and inspiring”
Martin Curran, President British Dental Association (NI) Branch President
In November 2018 the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Dental Association invited “Silence of Suicide” to an open forum for members, non-member and associated interested parties to an evening to discuss opening up about suicide. Northern Ireland has the unenviable title of the highest rate of suicides in the UK with certain areas being disproportional high.
Michael and Yvette kindly managed to squeeze into their very tight schedule and evening hosted by the association. Normally, our evenings are Continual Personal Development(CPD) lectures given by an eminent member of the profession educating us with an hour lecture. The importance of the subject matter stimulated to local BBC radio and Television to cover the event. The Branch President, Michael and Yvette were all interviewed.
This evening was completely different in that the audience were encourage to talk and share experiences with the assembled. To start the evening Ruby Wax dropped in, well at least on a promoting film make for SOS. It was a great start to the evening and relaxed the hundred attendees. Michael and Yvette both took to the microphone to stimulate the audience to come forward and speak of their experience. The President of the Association explained that eight dental colleagues has taken their lives by their own hand during his time in dentistry. All were in different circumstances and how hopeless he felt in preventing these circumstances occurring. “If only I had known but how could I have known”. Michael and Yvette were not trying to solve the problem in one evening but giving colleagues a platform to discuss the matter in hope that they are stimulated further to talk about the subject and become more aware of the tell tale signs when talking with others.
It certainly was a stimulating evening and I am sure everyone left with their own private thought to ponder and develop their own strategy the better of all their colleagues. The President thanked Michael of Yvette for their participation in the evening and wished them all the best for their extremely important work. One life saved makes it all worthwhile.’