Lincolnshire 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 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), Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) is urging everyone in Lincolnshire to mark Tuesday’s World Suicide Prevention Day by taking the time to complete the free online suicide prevention training.
Dr Ananta Dave, Medical Director at LPFT said: “We’d like everyone in our area 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 people 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 has 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.
A spokesman for ZSA said: “We know there’s a big difference in people’s attitudes 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.”
The training also complements work underway across Lincolnshire on the countywide suicide prevention strategy and an action plan to go alongside it.
Chris Weston, Consultant in Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said:
“This work brings together all the relevant agencies to work together to reduce the number of suicides in the county. There is action for everyone and we are committed to working more collaboratively so our efforts have more of an impact.”