A new initiative, which aims to train hundreds of public-facing workers and volunteers in Adur and Worthing on how to spot the signs that someone is in crisis was launched on World Suicide Prevention Day (Friday 10 September).
A free 90-minute online training course has been designed for people who work or volunteer with the public, including car park attendants, volunteers at food banks and bar staff - those who are more likely to be in contact with someone who is considering suicide. Sign up here.
The initiative is being delivered by a coalition of local organisations, which includes West Sussex Mind, Worthing Samaritans, Olly’s Future and Adur & Worthing Councils.
Many people have struggled with their mental health issues after experiencing health or financial worries as a result of the COVID pandemic. And with the Furlough Scheme due to end in October, the impact is expected to be further felt across Adur and Worthing - it is estimated that 20 per cent of those currently furloughed could lose their jobs when the scheme ends.
‘Talking About Suicide - Ten Tools’ was developed by Olly’s Future charity along with suicide prevention training organisation Start the Conversation. The course will be delivered on several dates between September to December. The aim is to equip public-facing workers with the knowledge and skills to support someone in crisis.
The Living Works START Suicide Prevention e-learning course, which is funded by West Sussex Mind, is also available for participants who wish to take a course that they can complete in their own time.
The founder of Olly’s Future, Ann Feloy, knows only too well how important it is to raise awareness of signs to look for and how to help someone who is feeling suicidal. She lost her son Oliver (Olly) to suicide on 14th February 2017.
She said: “I miss my son so dearly and would hate for anyone to go through the pain of loss that I feel every day. By developing this training, I wanted to equip people with the skills I wish I’d had to help Oliver. It is a privilege to work with other mental health charities in Adur and Worthing to save lives from suicide. All the work we do at Olly’s Future is in memory of my son.”
Katie Glover, CEO, West Sussex Mind, said: “We are pleased to come together with other charities and organisations for this campaign which could very well save lives in Worthing and Adur. It is vital that people having suicidal thoughts know they have somewhere to turn and that we equip people in our communities with the skills and confidence to have potentially life-saving conversations.”
Worthing Samaritans’ Director, Anne Copeland, said: “Suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based interventions. It’s great to be able to offer this training so that more people will be aware of the signs to watch for, and perhaps by talking to someone, could save a life.”
Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We encourage anyone who works or volunteers with the public to sign up for this short course, which will give you valuable skills that our community needs. ”
Cllr Sean McDonald, Worthing’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: We are facing a mental crisis as a result of the COVID pandemic and so now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we have good support systems in place to support our communities.”
Find out more about the Preventing Suicide in Adur & Worthing initiative at: https://www.westsussexmind.org/training-courses/preventing-suicide
- The Preventing Suicide in Adur & Worthing initiative is being delivered by West Sussex Mind, Olly’s Future, Start the Conversation, Worthing Samaritans and Adur & Worthing Councils, with support from other local groups.
- Every year, more than 6,000 people in the UK and the Republic of Ireland take their own lives. Tens of thousands more attempt suicide.
- Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help.