By Dana Branham
Oklahoma’s mental health leaders are working to prevent suicides by bringing suicide prevention strategies to the workplace.
The state mental health department worked with an international suicide prevention expert to develop free online training for businesses, called “Are You OK?” It’s aimed at helping managers recognize and address signs of mental health crises in the workplace.
OnCue is one of the Oklahoma-based businesses putting the “Are You OK?” training into practice. Mental health support has been a priority of the company’s, but leaders said employees had become more vocal about their concerns in recent years.
“We were seeing an uptrend of employees coming to us saying, ‘I’m suffering, I need help,’” said Norah McNeil, OnCue’s human resources manager.
OnCue area supervisors, who manage store managers, as well as corporate leaders are among some of the first employees to complete the “Are You OK?” training, and the company will work its way down the chain of command in getting the training to other managers, said Lisa Thomas, the company’s vice president of human resources.
Managers have responded positively to the training, she said. They’ve seen firsthand — with their employees, each other and even in their own families — the importance of mental health resources, she said.
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