OPSEC Solutions are very proud of the services we provide to our clients throughout New Zealand.
We may do this through reporting what risks may occur and how to plan for them. We might be onsite to physically provide safety security. We also provide training to organisations and companies to help guide their people on measures they can take, to stay safe when dealing with their largest health and safety risk by far, the aggressive member of the public.
Everything we do is geared around keeping New Zealanders safe. However, the one thing that is becoming most clear from our engagement with front line staff is that the mental health of people they meet with is a major concern and keeping themselves safe while aiding in their duty of care for those vulnerable members of their community, is certainly a growing challenge.
According to the World Health Organization, mental illness accounts for 15% of the total burden of disease in the developed world, with depression set to become the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. That is next year!
This is why, more and more often, experiences are shared with us about members of the public threatening to self-harm or worse. This should be of no surprise, when dealing with our fellow citizens whom are struggling or have hit rock bottom mentally, financially, socially or emotionally.
So, because this week contained World Suicide Prevention Awareness day, maybe it’s a good time to ask ourselves the question, “What can I do to help?”.
First of all, this is a huge and complex issue and no one is asking you to fix it but don’t feel hopeless. At the bottom of this are the helpline numbers you can give out to someone who may need them. That is a tangible, physical action that can help.
However, an important if less tangible action is to simply care. You may never know what dark place someone may be in their daily lives but compassion and empathy is a good start. Give them the respect they deserve with that all important time to listen without judgement or opinion, while preserving their dignity could go along way toward helping them manage long enough to ask for help.
We might be unqualified to prescribe medication or provide proper psychiatric analysis, but we can offer a non-judgmental, sympathetic ear that doesn’t shun and isolate someone who is suffering. There is nothing wrong with saying “I can get help and, it will be ok”. This at the very least will not make things worse but may be that positive step forward in our duty of care for our fellow citizen.
To help someone get them to free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Or contact one of these organisations:
Lifeline 0800 543 354 or 09 522 2999 or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
Youthline 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Samaritans 0800 726 666.