Author: Dr. Daniela Zammit
Introduction & Aims: A support session focusing on suicide was organized for a local gaming company in 2018. The initial aim was to create more awareness among their employees for them to handle efficiently any suicidal threats that are received on a regular basis via live chats or emails. Such suicidal threats are not taken lightly and as a result, it can have its toll on the employees. This prompted the gaming company to seek further professional support and guidelines on the best way to approach these critical situations and how to address them holistically.
Presentation of session: The structure of the training session consisted of basic knowledge on suicide statistics, common myths were discussed, how to identify suicide warning signs, practical tips on how to help people with suicidal ideation, how to respond in a crisis, local support groups available, post-suicide interventions and support for the employees. There was time allocated for further discussion and for sharing specific experiences with their colleagues. Following the support session, the gaming company asked for further assistance in helping to design a process map for their employees to follow under similar situations. This was later implemented as part of their company’s protocol.
Follow-up: Feedback collected from the company after 1 year of implementation proved to be very positive. Overall, the employees had described the support session as “a very positive experience and found the topic very informative.” They highly recommend such sessions for non-medically trained employees and also complimented the process map as it “has proven to be very useful in practice.” Their team manager described “Every time a suicide case comes up, we’re using these process maps to handle the chat/email. People are able to handle these cases more efficiently and distance themselves emotionally, so it won’t affect them as much and they’re still able to help the player in the best possible way.” The gaming company also became more sensitive to their employees’ mental state so each case is internally logged and ensure that the responsible employee is followed-up for further support as needed.