Businesses pledge action at 'Stop Suicide Summit'
Building suicide-safe workplaces and organisations that better support their people when going through tough times, harnessing technology and social media for better connections with people and becoming stronger public voices in suicide prevention have been key themes raised by the more than 50 leaders at Lifeline’s National Stop Suicide Summit in Sydney.
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said the themes – which will form part of a forthcoming action plan with businesses for suicide prevention – demonstrated the commitment and compassion of CEOs in attendance to provide ‘new thinking and new solutions’ to the national suicide emergency.
“It was extremely heartwarming to see the willingness of so many of the country’s corporate leaders to come together to tackle this heartbreaking problem, be it by focusing on their employees, their consumers or the broader community,” Mr Shmigel said.
“These CEOs are problem solvers, innovators and they know how to get results. We need their leadership and insights. I strongly thank them for the open and honest discussions throughout the summit.
“Importantly, there was consensus that not only do organisations have a real responsibility to support their people when they are struggling with life’s challenges or thinking about suicide, but it also makes good business sense in creating safe, fulfilling and productive work environments.”
Drawing on the key themes during the summit discussion, the following four next steps were proposed to attendees:
- Public Pledge to #stopsuicide: Enter into a public pledge to be leading voices for new thinking and new solutions that involve business and communities in addressing the suicide problem in Australia.
- Suicide-Safe Workplaces Action Plan: Contribute to a sound, tangible approach across industries and within organisations to make workplaces suicide-safe.
- Standing Groups: Provide representation on standing groups of business leaders to contribute experience and expertise to technology and innovation suicide prevention initiatives such as Lifeline Text4Good.
- Reunion: Meet again to review progress and continue to build on the foundations that have been established.
The National Stop Suicide Summit – which was sponsored by Twitter, AccorHotels Pacific, HuffPost Australia and Ruralco – included participants from industries such as finance, insurance, agri-business, retail, sport, social media and more, in recognition that the health system cannot tackle this problem alone.
A detailed summary of the day’s discussion will be available shortly and Lifeline will use the outcomes from the Summit to inform the COAG Health Council’s recently-announced National Suicide Prevention Plan.
In addition to business, Lifeline will continue to work with key stakeholders in improving and co-designing suicide prevention and its services, such as from Indigenous, LGBTIQ, CALD, lived experience, sports and rural parts of our community.
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
INTERVIEWS: contact [email protected] or 0408 407 376.
TO DONATE: SMS ‘HOPE’ to 0477 333 888 to donate $10 or more to Lifeline and help save lives now.