Lancashire residents are being encouraged to take 20 minutes out of their day on World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) to learn the skills that may just save a life.
Over 6,500 suicides were recorded across the UK in 2018 with every one having a major impact both emotionally and socially on friends, relatives, work colleagues and the local economy.
As members of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA), NHS East Lancashire & NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are urging everyone in Lancashire to mark World Suicide Prevention Day by taking the time to take their free online suicide prevention training.
Dr Rakesh Sharma clinical lead at the CCGs said:
“We’d like everyone in our area/borough to use the time it takes to make a cup of tea to do this training. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone who is suicidal, these are life skills that will teach you to approach difficult conversations with care and understanding and hopefully signpost them to the help they need.”
The training has been developed using the expertise of clinicians and the experience of those who have lived through suicide and uses real life scenarios to provide the skills to approach those in trouble.
Over 230,000 people have accessed the training since its launch in November 2017 and the Government have pledged to provide £2 million over the next two years to help the ZSA improve suicide prevention in the UK through awareness, training and the development of an innovative digital suicide prevention resource and exploration of cutting edge analytics to predict risk.
Dr Sharma added:
“We know there’s a big difference in people’s attitudes between before and after taking the training. In the 20 minutes it takes to complete the course they change from around 70–80 per cent thinking suicide is inevitable beforehand to only 10 per cent afterwards.
“The training also dispels the myth that talking about suicide can lead people to take their own lives. All the evidence shows that talking to people in the right way decreases the chances of suicide and that’s what this course will teach you to do.”
For further information contact: Myles Hodgson, Media Manager, Zero Suicide Alliance, on 0151 473 2797/07794 059031 or firstname.lastname@example.org