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
We are pleased to have been able to donate copies of The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook to Ukrainian libraries. We donated the books through Book Aid International in partnership with PEN Ukraine.
Book Aid International explains: “The libraries PEN Ukraine is supporting have become far more than places to read. They are social hubs where people can spend time with their community, and some even serve as shelters during bombardments. English language books in particular provide a sense of connection with the outside world and international solidarity with Ukraine.”
The focus of the APPG meeting was preventing opioid-related deaths. A significant percentage of clients at our Suicide Crisis Centre have a history of drug use and we are concerned to do all we can to reduce the risk of death from opioid use.
The meeting looked at the barriers to wider use of naloxone as well as the introduction of naloxone into frontline services such as police forces. Naloxone is an emergency medication used to block the effects of opioids, including in heroin overdoses.
This information from the charity Change, Grow, Live (CGL) explains how you can access training to use naloxene in an emergency: https://www.changegrowlive.org/advice-info/alcohol-drugs/naloxone-overdose-reversal-drug
Our CEO was asked to comment in recent articles in The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.
In The Telegraph, she was asked about the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) suicide figures. She was asked to comment on reasons for the increase in the number of older people (aged 65 and above) dying by suicide in 2022.
She explained how it is almost always a combination of many factors that make someone vulnerable to a suicidal crisis – but she explained about the many ways in which the pandemic and the subsequent cost-of-living crisis have had a particularly adverse impact on some older people’s vulnerability to a suicidal crisis during 2022 and 2023: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/04/05/suicides-hit-record-highs/
In The Daily Mail, she was asked about the reasons why young men die by suicide. She explained the difficulty some young men feel in seeking help, and how men may need a very specialised kind of support. The ways in which they feel able to access support may also be different. She explained how difficult it can be for them to take the first step to seeking help, and how we need to provide flexible ways for men to access crisis services – and provide individually tailored crisis services.
We were invited to speak in the House of Lords this week about the work of our charity and our Suicide Crisis Centre. We spoke about the reasons why our crisis service is needed, and how we work differently from psychiatric crisis services.
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
This week our CEO was a speaker at a national conference on suicide prevention for healthcare professionals.
The title of her presentation was “Responding Effectively To The Needs Of Individuals In Crisis After Traumatic Events.”
In March 2023, she will be speaking at another national conference for healthcare professionals. Her talk will focus on crisis care for individuals who experience a psychotic episode after traumatic events: “Improving Crisis Care For People Experiencing Psychosis.” Although this is a conference for healthcare professionals across the UK, there are some free places for service users/people with lived experience.
We were recently approached by NHS Health Education England asking us to give a presentation about our methods, ethos and approach (and the way we work at our Suicide Crisis Centre) for the NHS Health Education England Mental Health Crisis Workforce.
Joy, our CEO, gave the presentation in September. The attendees included psychiatric professionals who work in mental health crisis services in different parts of the UK, including crisis teams, and clinicians working in emergency services.
NHS Health Education England (HEE) exists to “support the delivery of excellent healthcare and health improvement to the patients and public of England by ensuring that the workforce of today and tomorrow has the right skills, values and behaviours”.
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 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.