Our Oral Evidence To A Parliamentary Select Committee

On 5th December our CEO was invited to give oral evidence about men’s mental health and suicide risk to a Parliamentary Select Committee.

She drew on the experiences of male clients at our Suicide Crisis Centre over the past decade.

In this video clip below, she explains the challenges men can experience in seeking help, and how crisis services need to adapt to meet their particular needs. She explains the experience of John, one of our very first clients; how he had to take very small steps to accessing face to face support: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOLrAtN10WI

Joy also spoke about the charity’s research into deaths by suicide, and here she explains about the tragic experience of Ashley and our concerns that when someone is accessing crisis services and emergency services more frequently, their risk is not always recognised: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7xH0pKIkbw&feature=youtu.be

“It’s a place full of hope”: article in The Metro newspaper about our Suicide Crisis Centre

A article in the Metro newspaper this weekend highlights the increased need for our suicide crisis service in December and January, and explains some of our clients’ experiences of accessing our services.

“It’s a place that’s full of hope, because we believe all our clients can survive. And it’s a place of caring and kindness and human warmth.”

This is the link to the article: ‘It’s the opposite of depressing’: Inside the Suicide Crisis Centre | Metro News

Our attendance at the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Suicide and Self Harm Prevention

Our CEO attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Suicide and Self Harm Prevention. She spoke about open-access psychiatric crisis services, the training of psychiatric crisis teams, the waiting times for psychological therapy under secondary mental health services and issues relating to mental capacity and suicide.

Last month she attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees. Her focus was on how we can ensure that refugees receive the mental health support and services that they need. The meeting focused particularly on Afghan refugees, many of whom are still waiting to be housed in this country. Our CEO worked with refugees and asylum seekers in the past and she will continue to be involved in APPG meetings.

We provide suicide prevention awareness training for the British Transport Police and the NHS

We have provided another suicide prevention awareness training session for the British Transport Police for their police officers in England and Wales. Next month we will be providing suicide prevention awareness training sessions for staff in an NHS Trust in London which provides psychiatric services.

The training is based on the methods, approach and ethos that we use at our Suicide Crisis Centre. We have also been providing this training for charities and specialist health services.

Our “Saving Lives” blog website: a new learning resource

The new “Saving Lives” blog website features articles written by Joy, the founder and CEO of Suicide Crisis. It includes new articles, as well as some of her articles featured in national newspapers including “Men and suicide: what they are telling us about the kind of care they need”, “Please don’t call us difficult to engage” and Ellie’s story: why we need to treat addiction and mental illness together” (on page 3 of the blog website).

“Please don’t call us difficult to engage” has been used as a learning resource in training events for mental health professionals in different parts of the UK. It has attracted the comment “Every clinician should read this”. This is the link to the website: https://www.savinglives.blog/

National and local awards for our team

Joy, our Founder and CEO, was named in the Independent newspaper’s “Happy List” 2019. The list is “an antidote to awards that celebrate wealth or celebrity”. The Happy List celebrates people in the UK who “give rather than take”. Everyone on the list is ranked equally, and Joy was listed in particular for kindness.

And locally, our Allan Fawlk was awarded Volunteer of the Year at the “Pride of the Cotswolds” 2019 awards, which was organised by local newspapers. Allan is a support worker, accompanying our team members on emergency home visits to our clients.

Our Oxford Conference: a focus on men and suicide

At our recent Oxford conference we talked about our work and how we have achieved zero suicide. There was a particular focus on men and suicide, and we are extremely grateful to our male clients who spoke at the event. It was hosted by an Oxford University college.

Although we didn’t ask for feedback, many people who attended emailed us afterwards and their comments included: ‘inspirational and moving seminar’ ‘simply amazing, thought-provoking, inspiring and moving in every way’ ‘bowled over by the heartfelt, courageous inspirational talks’ ‘important and insightful…. what a wonderful charity’ ‘sharing unique experiences with honesty, bravery and humour’, ‘the presentations…left a profound impact on me’

Huge thanks to St Edmund Hall (part of Oxford University) for making it possible. Thanks to BBC News South for covering the event.

Please Don’t Call Us ‘Difficult To Engage’

Joy has written a piece for the Huffington Post about people who psychiatric services sometimes describe as “difficult to engage”. She explains that we need to understand why people aren’t engaging. Services have a responsibility to help people to connect with them and there are implications for a person’s suicide risk if they don’t. The link to the Huffington Post piece is below:-