Mersey Care Chief Executive Joe Rafferty talks about how Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is committed to eliminating suicides among people in its care and why he wants everyone to take the training. “Every suicide is another person who either felt unable to ask for help or did not know how to access it. It’s a tragedy that has an incalculable impact on those who knew the person; and on society, the local community and its resources. If zero isn’t the right number, then what is? No death by suicide should ever be regarded as either acceptable or inevitable. If 20 British long haul aeroplanes crashed every year, there would be a national outcry, demands for change, a long hard look at systems and processes and funds diverted to things that would quickly make the most difference to the problem. We’ve trained 4,000 of our own staff to talk about suicide at work and at home. If a million people take the suicide awareness training package we’ve developed with the Zero Suicide Alliance; and encourage friends, colleagues or family members to do the same then finally we are equipping people to have a real conversation and help to prevent the heartbreak of suicide for people in this country.”
Jane Boland, Suicide Prevention Lead at Mersey Care, said: “I really believe people will find the training an empowering resource. It says you don’t have to have the perfect words, just the goodwill to make a difference. We’ve given people some secret knowledge; that there’s not a typical person, time or place, but there are some typical feelings, worthlessness, feeling a burden, we’ve introduced a way people can recognise those signs and know that by asking quite directly whether someone is thinking about hurting or killing themselves you will make things better, you won’t make it worse. By having that conversation you will help that person recover.” T
here are 5,500 suicides a year in the UK. At some time in our lives we’ll all know someone who has problems mounting up and who may need help. You could make the difference to what they do next. A simple 20 minute online training session will help you identify when someone is having suicidal thoughts. You’ll have the skills to approach them, have difficult conversations and support and signpost them to the right services or help.
Pledge your support and take the free training at zerosuicidealliance.com
The Zero Suicide Alliance, a coalition of like-minded partners determined to work together and share best practice to help rid the UK of suicide was launched at Westminster in 2016.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the Liberal Democrat’s Norman Lamb and former shadow mental health minister and Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, joined representatives of charities, major employers, clinical commissioners and politicians, all united to address the challenge of preventing suicides. Find out more zerosuicidealliance.com