Seven ‘Living Warriors’ from Kent have had their words about getting through life – after coming close to ending it all – made into inspirational high-quality short films.
The films were created following funding from ‘The Saving Lives Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund’, launched last year to support local projects by the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) – a collaboration between Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent and Medway CCG, Kent and Medway Partnership Trust and all the NHS organisations across Kent and Medway.
A short of three of these films will be released on BBC ideas and all seven films will be streamable from the Living Words’ website on 10 September as part of World Suicide Prevention Day.
The award-winning project Living Warriors was created in 2019 by pioneering arts charity Living Words in Folkestone. Living Warriors explored what had stopped people taking their lives when they thought they would. The initial project led to a book publication and song ‘Look Up’.
The seven new films were made to raise awareness of mental health experiences and allow those involved to get their message heard – highlighting seven very different experiences of survival.
Living Warriors TJ Frost said: “I am 47 and this is the first time I have felt truly heard. It is important to talk and not be scared how people will react. It’s not that you want to die, it’s that it is too much pain to live”
Another contributor, Sally Ann added: “This was the best project I have ever been involved in. I thought I had dealt with the past, this project helped me release the final shame I still felt. Amazing.”
Lauretta Kavanagh, Mental Health Programme Director for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I follow Living Words and had wondered if their unique Listen Out Loud methodology would work with other people who we need to hear from.
“I am delighted that the success of Living Warriors has helped some Kent people who came near to dying by suicide and the people close to them on their healing journey. I support this approach being used more widely across the country in the future.”
Started in 2007 by writer and actor Susanna Howard, Living Words is most well-known for working one-to-one with people living with advanced dementia, using their ‘Listen Out Loud’ methodology. Living Words take people’s words out to the public through books, performance, films and song. You can find more information about Living Words at www.livingwords.org.uk and www.facebook.com/livingwords.org.uk
You can find the films at www.bbc.co.uk/ideas
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