Workplaces are often touched by suicide whether through an employee’s personal life (family member or friend), or through the death of an employee themselves. Being supported appropriately in the workplace when grieving a loss, is an important part of staff wellbeing regardless of the cause of death. It is especially so when someone dies by suicide.
In response to this need Irish Hospice Foundation, along with their partners, have launched Grief in the Workplace: Responding to Suicide – A Guide for Employers. The guide is designed specifically with employers and union representatives in mind. It aims to help organisations increase their understanding and confidence in responding to suicide in the workplace by providing practical, sensible and sensitive guidelines to support colleagues who are grieving.
Launching the guide, Minster of State with responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said:
“Suicide is a tragic and shattering event which not only brings a life to an untimely end but also has a devastating effect on family, friends, colleagues and the wider community. I welcome the development of this guide by Irish Hospice Foundation and their partners. It takes compassion and courage in the workplace to respond effectively to suicide. This guide provides an excellent support to employers to help them do this in a sensitive and informed way”.
Breffni Mc Guinness, National Bereavement Development Specialist with Irish Hospice Foundation, played a key role in the development of the guide and he said:
“Providing appropriate support to staff who are bereaved is a key element of staff wellbeing, especially when the loss involves suicide. Grief is never easy, and it is normal to feel uncomfortable around death. Yet, there are things we can do that can make a real difference to people in the workplace who are bereaved by suicide. Helping managers and staff to respond with humanity, compassion and competence are key steps, as is having an appropriate bereavement policy. ‘Grief in the Workplace: Responding to Suicide’ provides practical guidance for workplaces on how these steps can be achieved.”
For many people, work and the relationships that people have with their colleagues is an important part of their lives. Yet, in the workplace, people may find it difficult to know how to support someone bereaved by suicide. It was for this reason that the partners – the HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention, Ibec and ICTU – came together to develop this guide.
The guide will be launched by Minster of State with responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English at a webinar hosted by IHF.
What: Virtual launch of Grief in the Workplace Responding to Suicide – A Guide for Employers
When: 10 November 2021 at 2.15pm via Zoom
Who: Hosted by Irish Hospice Foundation and with support from HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention, Ibec and ICTU