7 Ideas For Your Organization to Celebrate Self-Injury Awareness Day in 2024
It is crucial to raise awareness among employees about self-injury. To think that an individual reaches a point where self-harm is considered an option is really unfortunate. Forbes reports that suicide has emerged as a global health crisis and the 10th leading cause of death in the United States-an increase of 30% since 1999. Long office hours and job pressure are the leading causes of suicide among Americans. To raise global awareness about self-injury, March 1st is recognized as Self Injury Awareness Day.
As awareness leads to understanding and empathy, promoting it in workplaces can help reduce the number of employees who feel alone and suffer in silence. Educating employees to prevent self-injury and asking people for help is part of raising awareness.
Understanding Self Injury at Workplace
“Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself”
Self Injury involves hurting oneself physically in an effort to cope with emotional pain or overwhelming circumstances. Workplace Stress is a major reason why employees take such drastic measures. Self-harm can be the result of workplace bullying or the employees feeling underappreciated for contributions at work.
After self-harming, a person may feel relieved, but if the causes of the emotional pain remain unresolved, the cycle is almost certain to continue.
Reasons why Employees Harm Themselves?
Following are some of the reasons why employees can take such drastic steps as suicide or any other physical harm.
1. Work Stress
Work stress is the pressure that an employee feels from the regular demands of the job. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming for employees to meet the demands of work. And in that scenario, they feel self-harm is a way to escape reality. Anyway, regular meetings, client commitments, deadlines test the best of employees.
Although some may say such acts are cowardice, it is wrong to discard them like that. Every individual has a different stress response and if someone has suicidal habits, it just highlights that it is a mental health condition and the person needs help.
Suggested read: 40 Best Too Much Work Quotes To Cope Stress and Burnout
2. Difficulty in Maintaining Work-life Balance
Every employee wants a work-life balance. And it is important to have the right balance of professional and personal life to unplug themselves. But sometimes it is extremely difficult for employees to find that balance in their life. There are occasions when employees are required to work overtime to finish priority-based work or to negotiate a deal.
This leads to piling up of frustration in their minds. And that frustration sometimes vents out through self-harm-inducing behaviors.
3. Workplace Bullying
It is really unfortunate that many employees face bullying at work. Sometimes employees are picked upon in the workplace and humiliated in front of other employees, or laughed at for being different. Other examples of bullying in the workplace are-
- Shouting at an employee
- Ignoring their opinions and choices
- Constantly poking them at work
- Passing judgments unfairly
- Blaming unnecessarily
Because of such actions, employees get mentally hurt and emotionally hurt. This has led to many employees committing suicide or abusing substances in the workplace.
4. Mental Health
There are many reasons why employees' mental health suffers. It could be due to workplace stress or having poor relations with colleagues. The CDC reports that mental health disorders are among the most burdensome health concerns in the United States. One out of five US adults reported some form of mental illness in 2016.
Due to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, etc, workplace performance and productivity are badly affected. Poor mental health and stress can also negatively affect employee engagement and communication.
Suggested read: 12 Best Ideas For Overcoming Depression At Work
5. Personal Trauma
A lot of times, employees are affected by traumas in their personal life. Working and meeting family obligations isn't easy for them in such an environment. Perhaps someone in the family has a health issue, or maybe there are financial constraints that make it complicated.
This pushes employees down the dark alley where suicide seems like the only option. As a result, it is of the utmost importance to reach out to such employees and assist them in dealing with such situations in the best possible way.
6. Covid-19 related Isolation
It has been a terrible few years for employees who have been forced to work from home for a long time now. However, hybrid workplaces have their own set of benefits, but there is no denying that they can isolate employees. For the major part of the day, employees are forced to sit for hours in front of a laptop and work. There is no way for them to unwind or interact with their colleagues.
Consequently, a large number of employees complain of mental fatigue and burnout. Due to the inability to express their frustration, many employees have exhibited narcissistic behaviors and caused domestic chaos. It has led to many employees taking extreme measures, such as harm and self-injury.
Celebrating Self Injury Awareness Day
Self-Injury Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a step back and think about the danger of self-harm. Despite the fact that self-injury is diagnosed without the intent to kill oneself, it has a strong association with suicide. A majority of individuals who self-harm have experienced suicidal thoughts during this behavior, and 50-85% of these individuals have attempted suicide at least once.
On March 1, the annual Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is observed, a day dedicated to raising awareness about self-harm and behaviors such as cutting and other deliberate ways to injure oneself. It is an opportunity to raise awareness and provide resources to those in need.
What can Employers do to Help Employees With Suicidal Thoughts?
The behaviors associated with self-injury are typically a sign of intense emotional distress. Employers have a very crucial role to play in dealing with such employees who battle suicidal thoughts. Looking for the warning signs is incredibly important. Some of the best ideas for employees to deal with this situation are-
1. Revamp Your Employee Health Policies
Create a policy that allows employees to reach out to the management in a hassle-free way. Address issues bothering the mental health of your workplace. Revamp your existing health policies from time to time based on the findings from wellness assessments.
Check on every employee from time to time. If your organization has a wellness platform then carry out periodic wellness surveys to better understand the requirement of your employee wellness.
2. Provide Work-life Balance
Gone are the days when employees would slog for hours. The modern employee is well aware of their rights and health requirements. There is a global acceptance that work must evolve in such a way that every employer prioritizes its employee health. So a great amount going back to management demands for work-life balance.
Every employee must come up with innovative ways of providing its employees with everything they need. At the end of the day what matters is optimum productivity and employees feel a balanced approach brings the best out of them. It may prevent employees from burnout and keep employees fresh both physically and mentally.
3. Encourage Employees to Participate in Mindfulness Activities
Mindfulness has become an important part of employee wellness. The value of mindfulness exercises like meditation and yoga has helped millions of employers cut the expenditure on wellness initiatives.
There are many wellness platforms that provided guided meditation sessions. Employees just need to open the apps, put on earphones and take a trip down the spiritual path.
Suggested read: 8 Surprising Benefits Of Introducing Meditation At Work
4. Appreciate Employees for their Work Performance
Appreciate your employees for their performances at work. If the employees do not feel well appreciated, it can have an impact on the morale and mental health of your employees.
Provide goal-oriented bonuses and gifts at team activities or cultural events.
5. Provide Financial Support like Loans, Insurance etc.
To ensure that employees are not affected by financial constraints, provide financial support. Cover your employees' health from various kinds of illnesses. For employees who have been loyal to the organization for a period of time, give them chance to avail loans with lower interest rates.
If the financial wellness of the employees is secure then it will help employees to manage their stress levels better. This will in turn help employees from taking extreme steps of self-harm to escape situations.
6. Provide Mental Health Counselling
Most employees showing suicidal tendencies have some sort of mental health issues. So the role of a psychiatrist or mental health coach is very important. Employers are investing quite a lot in providing counselors, therapists, and medical support. There is no compromise on ensuring the workplace is in its best mental shape.
Medical help can persuade employees from aggressive behaviors. They will help to channel the negative energy, which will help to make our society a safe and better place too.
7. Formulate a Strict Anti-Bullying Policy
Employees must reach out to the management regarding any incident of bullying subjected to them. Employers should have a zero-tolerance anti-bullying policy.
Employees who are guilty of bullying should be punished, and victims should be supported. If necessary, the organization should not hesitate to take legal action.
Over the past several months, the HR industry has focused increasingly on mental health. Due to the pandemic, many employees have experienced grief, financial stress, anxiety, and isolation. Hrdrive reported a 2000% increase in telehealth access for workers from 2020 to 2021.
Companies have recently launched a variety of mental health programs intended to improve employee wellbeing, from free counseling to recreational unwinds. Employees can successfully be pushed away from self-harm and suicidal habits with the help of a collaborative approach between the employer and employees.
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