Launch of new toolkits to take a whole system approach to wellbeing

Today (Friday 17 March 2017), Business in the Community has published three new toolkits on musculoskeletal health and suicide prevention and postvention.

These interactive, interconnected toolkits sit along the existing Mental Health Toolkit for Employers to provide a suite of documents providing advice and support  for employers on taking a ‘whole systems, whole person’ approach to musculoskeletal and mental health and tackling the two leading causes of sickness absence. The suite consolidates best practice, expert comment, case studies and freely available resources and is relevant to all employers, irrespective of size, sector or stage on their journey.

Key facts:

  • 30.6 million working days are lost due to musculoskeletal disorders
  • 5.2 million working days are lost due to stress, anxiety and depression
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged from 20 to 34
  • Men are nearly three times as likely as women to die by suicide, but the female suicide rate in England is at its highest since 2005
  • The number of deaths by suicide is more than double that of deaths by road accidents (4820 compared to 1732 in 2015)

The mental health toolkit for employers is our flagship publication and helps employers pick out the most valuable resources relating to mental health and develop an approach to a healthy workplace that really works.

Musculoskeletal health in the workplace: a toolkit for employers provides practical advice for employers regarding employee musculoskeletal health and reducing workplace absence (content developed in consultation with ARMA).

Reducing the risk of suicide: a preventative toolkit for employers provides support and advice on how to incorporate suicide prevention into an employer’s workplace health and wellbeing framework (content developed in partnership with Samaritans).

Crisis management in the event of a suicide: a postvention toolkit for employers offers practical advice and support for employers in the aftermath of an employee suicide (content developed in partnership with Samaritans).

The suicide prevention and postvention toolkits are published to coincide with Office for National Statistics analysis commissioned by Public Health England (PHE), which presents national suicide rates broken down by occupation for the first time in England.


Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, said: “Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50, and more women are taking their own lives each year. Death by suicide is never inevitable, but for a person feeling overwhelmed by feelings and events that appear insurmountable, it can seem like the only answer.

“People who die from suicide are usually not in contact with health services, yet they often continue to go to work even as their ability to cope deteriorates. With more than two thirds of adults in employment, the workplace offers an opportunity to reach people who need extra support.

“I encourage all employers, large or small, public or private sector to treat mental health as seriously as physical health, and early action can stop any employees reaching a desperate stage. Simple actions can make a huge difference - talking with a manager or colleague can help people get the support they need, and ultimately save lives.”

Read the Public Health England press release >>