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North Herts residents urged to take free training course to learn how to help save a life for World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2021
Suicide

People across North Herts are being encouraged to complete free suicide prevention training to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday 10 September.

North Herts Council is marking the day by encouraging people to watch a free 20-minute online training presentation from the Zero Suicide Alliance. The training will help you identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts or behaviour, be able to speak to them in a supportive way and signpost them to the correct services or support.

In Hertfordshire there are around 100 deaths by suicide each year. This is below the national average; but numbers have been increasing slightly each year since 2017. Every suicide is a tragedy, so Hertfordshire’s vision is to become a county where no-one ever gets to a point where they feel suicide is their only option.

Cllr Judi Billing, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Community Engagement said: “Suicide is a tragedy. It is also preventable and we can all do something to potentially help save a life. That is why we are raising awareness of this free training.

“North Herts Council consider this issue so important that we offered all of our staff training about how to support individuals experiencing a mental health crisis earlier this year, so many of our staff who provide key frontline services feel confident and skilled to support people in this situation and get them the help they need. We would urge everyone to give up 20 minutes of their time to watch the training presentation. It might just save a life.”

Dr Joanne Farrow, Deputy Medical Director and Suicide Prevention Lead for Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust said: “Many people are afraid of having a difficult conversation with someone they are worried about, because they don’t know what they should say.

“That’s why Hertfordshire’s suicide prevention network is working together to promote the training. It explains that it’s OK to talk about suicide and helps people understand how to help someone they are worried about by spotting the signs, knowing what to say and signposting to help.”

To do the training simply visit www.bit.ly/suicidepreventionherts or search Zero Suicide Alliance training online.

If you or someone you know is in need you can dial NHS111 and select option 2 anytime 24/7 for specialist mental health support or contact Samaritans free on 116 123.

The Stay Alive App, a suicide prevention resource, is available in Hertfordshire. It has tools to help keep people safe in times of crisis and details of the emergency or support services to contact in Hertfordshire. It can be used if someone is experiencing difficulties with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide, or if they are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. Find out more.

The Council’s Healthy Hub service is also on hand to support individuals who may not know where to turn.  The hub team are available on the phone and on email to have a chat with anyone who may be feeling low and help them get support from the right organisations – whether that’s specific mental health support or just wanting to make connections in the local area and feel less isolated.

For more information on the hub visit : healthyhub@north-herts.gov.uk 01462 474111.

For more information visit suicidepreventionherts.org.uk