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Together to deliver suicide intervention training to frontline staff in North Yorkshire

Posted on 16, June 2016

Together will train frontline staff in North Yorkshire in how to recognise, intervene and help prevent the immediate risk of suicide, after it received a share of a £70,600 grant from North Yorkshire County Council.

North Yorkshire County Council logo

North Yorkshire has a higher than average suicide rate and around 150,000 people in the county will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. It is therefore essential that staff who come into contact with people who are experiencing mental distress are equipped with the skills they need to provide suicide first aid.

The grant will enable Together to offer Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a free course to Police and NHS staff in Harrogate and Richmondshire. ASIST is the world’s leading suicide intervention course and has been shown to help reduce suicidal feelings for those at risk.

During the two-day course, starting later this year, participants will:

  • Learn how to recognise when a person is experiencing suicidal feelings
  • Understand how to develop a plan to help reduce the risk of suicide
  • Be aware of local community resources that are available to support people

Some of the grant will be used to train two members of Together staff – Samantha Durrant, Project Manager at York Pathways and Justine Pearce, Operations and Development Manager – to become registered ASIST trainers. The rest of the grant will be used to provide the training for free to participants.

This training will support the work Together does to ensure that people who are experiencing mental health issues are identified early and the escalation of their mental health issues is prevented, as part of its Pathways Projects. Our Pathways service in Rotherham supports young adults experiencing mental distress who are entering the criminal justice system or at risk of first arrest. Our service in York supports those in distress who are frequently coming into contact with emergency services.

Together is one of eleven organisations across North Yorkshire to have been awarded grants from the Council’s public health fund. In total over 700 people will be trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) or Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST), as part of the wider programme.

For further information, or if you would like to take part in the training, please contact Sarah Owen-Rafferty.