A scheme teaching ‘suicide first-aid’ is set to expand across North East London.
Up to 500 frontline council staff, NHS workers, care-givers and community leaders in the seven boroughs that form the East London Health and Care Partnership (ELHCP) will receive training in suicide prevention, thanks to funding secured by ELHCP from Health Education England (HEE).
The Applied Suicide Applied Skills Training (ASIST) course, taught over 2 days, teaches suicide alertness and an easy to remember framework of practical skills to safely initiate, complete and follow-up on a full suicide intervention. Perhaps surprisingly, thoughts of suicide are not always related to mental ill-health. The reasons can seem challenging and complex. And it is not always obvious when a person is at risk of suicide. Being suicide alert and talking about the reasons for wanting to live and die has been proven to help.
HEE agreed to roll out the ASIST course across North East London following positive feedback from course participants in Tower Hamlets. Since June 2018, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has provided the ASIST course to over 200 staff members from different organisations and sectors in Tower Hamlets.