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2016 in Review: Suicide Prevention, Blue Light Training and Mates In Mind

By Chris Wood, 09 January 2017 – 0 comment

2016 has been a standout year for our training team.

By December 2016 we had trained over 3,500 Cumbrian residents in Suicide Alertness and Suicide Prevention skills over the last 4 years. A major achievement. We are now fired up to keep the funding going for this programme to reach our ultimate goal of training 10,000 people. The end of 2016 also bought us news that at last suicide rates in Cumbria are beginning to fall, bucking the national trends and with the combined efforts of workers across several sectors we expect this trend to continue.

Alongside our general suicide prevention training we have also been commissioned by Cumbria Children’s Services to deliver self-harm and suicide awareness training for workers supporting children and young people. In an 8 month period we trained over 700 people.

Our general mental health training services have experienced unprecedented demand. We trained over 170 emergency services staff and managers at the start of the year in mental health in the workplace awareness as part of Mind’s Blue Light Programme. We have engaged with over 20 local employers in workplace wellbeing and have provided various bespoke mental health training to a further 40 Health, Social Care and Third Sector groups, from Cruise through to Environmental Health officers.

Perhaps the most exciting developments however in our training team has been our involvement in Cumbria’s Headstart programme, aimed at developing resilience in children and young people in 2 pilot areas of the county. As part of this we have developed two curriculum embedded mental health training packages. The key package, Mates in Mind, is a peer support programme aimed at equipping 14-15 year olds with an understanding of how to recognise mental health issues and how to practically support and signpost their friends. We have delivered this programme to over 2,000 young people in Carlisle and Barrow with excellent results. Though Cumbria County Council were unsuccessful in securing funding to take Headstart forward in 2017 the interest generated by the programme has been overwhelming and we expect to secure funding of our own on 2017 to develop our training, and general support for children and young people further.

- Chris Wood, Business Development Manager

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