Mental Health Training

A Book to Save Lives; a book we should ALL read! By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 15 Sep, 2021 in Mental Health |

A Book to Save Lives; a book we should ALL read! By Jane McNeice

If I was having suicidal thoughts, this is a book that I really hope the person supporting me has read. If so, they will be well equipped to save me, or at the very least, keep me safe until a professional can help me. Joy Hibbins does not hold herself, or her suicide crisis centre, to a ‘zero suicide’ standard, but nevertheless, her service has achieved it… Let that thought sink in for a second… Yes, ZERO suicides.

Joy knows the proven tools to save lives. She shares those in this book. You do not need divine intervention, to be a professional,  or even Joy Hibbins to save another life from suicide. You need to believe in hope, have compassion, listen, and understand, without judgement, and a few other things Joy will share with you if you read it.

‘The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook’ is Joy’s second publication, the title prompted by a client whose life the team saved referring to them as “being in his pocket all the time”.  Further evidence that building strong supportive connections provides support even when the supporter isn’t still with the person. Joy’s first publication was ‘Suicide Prevention Techniques’ and is another life-supporting read that I would highly recommend. Joy kindly shared the new publication with me so I could review it. Books are always a welcome gift, even more so when the topic saves lives!

Every ingredient of Joy’s book is valuable, but some salient points and quotes will stay with me forever. Joy’s counsellors’ talk about “working with the part of them that wants to survive”. This parallels finding ‘life connections’ part of ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). It is the part that will help someone to survive, even if that part right now is simply a willingness to engage in a conversation about suicide.

The quality of the relationship is also a valuable ingredient, and quality is not measured by shared DNA, title, or frequent proximity, it is about the ‘quality‘ of the relationship. Life sustaining qualities include care, compassion, authentic connection, a person-centred approach, and being proactive and tenacious. Any one of us can provide these, professional or lay-person. In fact, there are more than enough examples of strangers who have saved lives because they have been able to draw upon such qualities at the right time and place. There is no alchemy to this.

Joy’s book is readable, well written, well explained, and accessible to each and every one of us. If we are to create a society safe from suicide we need to work collectively, just the same as we need to work together to create a Covid-safe community.

You can purchase Joy’s book here. The Kindle edition is 49p, forty-nine pence!!! Less than a cup of coffee to save a person’s life. Enough said.