Do you believe suicide is preventable? Would you know how to talk to someone about suicidal thoughts or feelings they may be having?
For World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, the MindWell team completed suicide awareness training from ZSA (Zero Suicide Alliance). Team members have also become West Yorkshire Suicide Prevention Champions and pledged to promote suicide prevention at home, in the community or at work.
West Yorkshire has a higher suicide rate than England as a whole, so the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership launched a campaign urging everyone to play a part in helping to lower the suicide rate by taking an active role in challenging stigma and raising awareness.
“…there are ways that we can all help people who are feeling suicidal.”MindWell team member
Take the training
People across West Yorkshire are being encouraged to sign up as Suicide Prevention Champions and join the effort to reduce the area’s suicide rate.
As the MindWell team found, it doesn’t take long to watch a video about the campaign and complete the ZSA training, and learn about key actions like ‘See’, ‘Say’, ‘Signpost’. By undertaking the 20 minute suicide awareness training you’ll gain skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.
What we thought
We recommend having someone to check in with after the training, as suicide is an emotive subject and can bring up difficult thoughts or feelings. After working through the interactive training activities, our team met to talk through the learning. We all thought it was helpful:
“I found it very useful in what to look out for and how to talk and act.”
“…there are ways that we can all help people who are feeling suicidal.”
“…it was such an important issue to learn about. Particularly being prepared, knowing where to signpost people to and the language we should and shouldn’t use.”
“It felt a difficult subject to start with, but seeing people share their experiences really helped. I feel more confident about talking to others about how they’re feeling now.”
“I’d seen the statistics, but the training really brought the message home. It was very moving to hear from people who’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts or have lost someone they love. If I think someone is struggling, I won’t tell myself ‘it’s not my business’; I’ll ask how they are and if they want to talk.”
Quotes from MindWell team members
Become a Champion
Following the steps on the Suicide Prevention Champion pages is straightforward and could potentially save the life of a friend, relative, colleague or someone you’ve not met before. Knowing the signs and being able to have a conversation are skills we can learn.
If you decide to become a Suicide Prevention Champion, you can pledge how you will take action to challenge stigma, raise awareness and promote suicide awareness.
“I’d seen the statistics, but the training really brought the message home. It was very moving to hear from people who’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts or have lost someone they love. If I think someone is struggling, I won’t tell myself ‘it’s not my business’; I’ll ask how they are and if they want to talk.”MindWell team member
This could mean:
- spreading the word about the ZSA training and becoming a Suicide Prevention Champion
- sharing leaflets and posters about mental health support in your local area or at work
- taking further training, such as Mental Health First Aid, SafeTALK or Asist
- volunteering with groups or services supporting people’s mental health
- becoming an anti-stigma champion
- learning to talk about suicide in a hopeful, respectful way and encouraging others to do the same
If you do decide to become a Suicide Prevention Champion, you will have access to the latest suicide prevention news, resources, support services and information to help spread the word and encourage action. Find more information and sign up on the West Yorkshire Suicide Prevention website.
More useful resources and links
Be confident and spread the word about mental health support in Leeds:
- Our Need urgent help? page
- Our Finding help in a mental health crisis resource and PDF to download or print for free
- Our How to help someone in a crisis page
- Our TALKS technique helps you talk to someone about their mental health
- Download or print our TALKS technique as a PDF
- View a plain text page of our TALKS technique
- Find details of printed resources and promotional material from MindWell or Public Health Leeds
Find more training and opportunities:
- Being You Leeds offers training and awareness raising, including Mental Health First Aid, Asist and SafeTalk
- Information about mental health awareness training, Mental Health First Aid and more, useful for employers and professionals
Get ideas for volunteering:
- Being You Leeds anti-stigma work
- Connect Helpline needs volunteers for their nightly helpline
- Leeds Samaritans helpline volunteers
- Explore MindWell’s Volunteer to help others pages for ideas of where to look for opportunities in Leeds.
If you or someone you know have been bereaved by suicide at any time in your/their life, Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service can help.
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