Mental Health Training

Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Posted by on 26 Sep, 2018 in Mental Health |

Suicide First Aid Launch, By Jane McNeice

Mind Matters was delighted to attend the Launch of Suicide First Aid at The Oval in London today (26th September). The new course has been produced by the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Training UK and provides delegates with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to prevent suicide. This course is slightly different to the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Training that Mind Matters currently offers. SFA is a one day course, but also comes with accreditation at Level 4 from City & Guilds, following completion of an associated workbook. The course compliments some of our other training courses e.g. one or two day Mental Health First Aid, or one day Higher Education MHFA. We’re very much looking forward to opportunities to bring this course to our customer base in the near future.

The Launch had some great speakers including MHFA’s Director of Community Development, Caroline Hounsell, Connect Assist’s Executive Director, Rusty Livock, University College London’s Head of Wellbeing, Karen Smith, NCSPT UK’s Chief Executive, Nick Barnes, and the event was chaired by Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health. Speakers shared their current work and some of the reasons why them have come to do the work that they do, and their interestsSFA, suicide first aid, suicide, suicide prevention, mental health, training in Suicide First Aid. For most, if not all, they’ve been touched by mental ill health. I’ve often thought that those who make improving mental health their ‘life’s work’ have in some way been significantly touched by mental ill health, and I include myself in this – my own experiences, and that of my late brother and other family members – it’s a salient part of our frame of reference. Some of our passion comes from what we saw that was wrong e.g. improvements that could be made to services, or maybe championing the voice of patients. The Launch also provided the opportunity for us to once again hear the powerful suicide prevention story of Neil Laybourn and Jonny Benjamin MBE, which they shared at the MHFA Anniversary Conference last November. The story is one of hope that changed the lives of two men through a suicide prevention intervention. A story that Jonny Benjamin believes is taking place every day via ‘silent heroes’ in our society. Jonny and Neil have also now set up a charity called ‘Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma’ and also shared details about the amazing resource that is the ‘Hub of Hope’

A key part of the Launch was about how we create positive change around suicide prevention, and how we empower our networks to make changes. Discussion took place around influencing Government Ministers to make positive changes within mental health, particularly when we continually hear coverage of systemic failures in young people’s mental health, where young people in need have been unable to access mental health services such as CAMHS until they are in crisis e.g. suicide. The question was asked, “If a Minister was in front of us now, what would we say?” Having reflected on this question, I’d ask:

  • What does Government see as an effective children and young people’s mental health service?
  • What real and genuine financial commitment is being made to young people’s mental health services?
  • What commitments are they making to Crisis Teams, so that they do have sufficient resources to support the needs of those in crisis?
  • What are their commitments to early intervention in mental health?
  • And when can we expect to see some significant change for the better?

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts and what you’d say to a Minister about mental health.

It was also highlighted at the Launch that there is a significant crisis around suicide in prolific gamblers. On this account we’d like to share information about organisations that can support those with gambling problems:

NHS help for problem gambling


Gambling Therapy

We’d also like to share information about our ‘Get support Now’ page on the Mind Matters website.