The key feature of our Suicide Awareness Hub is a free two part course that has two aims:
- Prevent suicides
- Give anyone the confidence and skills to be able to have supportive conversations with people who may be feeling suicidal, to know what to say (and what to avoid) and to help the person get the right support for them.
I liked the ‘listening without comment’ exercise. It highlighted actually how difficult it is not to step in and advice someone when listening is more helpful. Never tell someone you know how they feel is also very good advice.
Generally we rarely talk about suicide, it’s often only when we hear about or know someone who has died do we talk about it. This lasts all too briefly and then the topic usually goes quiet.
How we were given the opportunity to practice with Mike how we might respond. What NOT to say was really important too and the reasons why
There are some understandable worries people have about talking to someone who may be feeling suicidal that stop them having open conversations. Worries such as “If I ask them if they are feeling suicidal, that will put the idea into their minds, they will go and make an attempt and it’ll be my fault” (this isn’t true, if someone says yes, they will have been thinking about it before and you are not responsible for their actions) or “If I ask them and they say they are feeling suicidal I won’t know what to do next” (you will after attending our course).