Due to the work I’m honoured to work in on Growing Talent – mentoring unemployed people from all backgrounds into permanent jobs – and Mental Health & Well Being course design and delivery, it isn’t a rare thing to encounter people with suicidal thoughts.
There is a growing spotlight on suicide. Network Rail and the Samaritans have started a joint campaign asking the public to start a conversation with anyone they see in distress at train stations. An excellent campaign and I strongly believe you cannot make a situation worse by talking. However, I do feel strongly that some training is needed not only to recognise turning points but also agreeing safe plans and self care.
Having been an MHFAEngland instructor for several years, I felt pretty confident in supporting people through their suicidal thoughts. However, the suicide section on the MHFA format is one 1/2 day and coupled with depression. Some good knowledge but not in-depth.
I’d heard about LivingWorks ASiST (www.livingworks.net) global programme – 2 full days dedicated to suicide intervention which was formed in Canada and is now being delivered globally.
Finding organisations that deliver this valuable workshop – and believe me, you do work on it – is not easy. An internet search found @GrassrootsSP – an amazing organisation based in Brighton.
21 and 22 November were intense days in Brighton. The learning was so much more than expected. The networking with other delegates was invaluable – learning from each other.
I thoroughly recommend this priceless experience. Which should be part of every school curriculum. The sooner we start talking about suicide and mental health the easier it will be to save lives.