A Maidstone-based mental health charity, which is part funded by Kent County Council, is urging people this World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) to access free suicide prevention and awareness training.
Mid Kent Mind is launching a video to encourage people to think about the steps everyone can take to support someone who may be feeling suicidal. It follows partnerships in educational, commercial and voluntary settings.
Layla Head, Training and Development Lead at Mid Kent Mind, said: “We know how important it is to ensure that this training is available to the wider public. Suicide prevention and mental health more broadly should be everyone’s business – so we hope that this training helps to empower people to have those important conversations.
“These sessions are free. All it costs someone is three and a half hours of their time – and those three and a half hours could make a huge difference. I cannot encourage people enough to book onto this training. You can make a difference when someone is struggling.”
The organisation has launched a series of new dates which are now available on their website – including some face-to-face sessions which are being offered again since COVID-19 regulations were lifted earlier in the year. The training is delivered as part of a programme delivered by Mind organisations across Kent – with more sessions being added all the time in different parts of the county.
Mid Kent Mind has received funding from Kent County Council, Medway Council and Improving Health & Social Care in Kent and Medway, as a part of the wider Suicide Prevention strategy which is in place in Kent.
Dr Anjan Ghosh, Kent County Council’s Director of Public Health said: “World Suicide Prevention Day is a really effective way of drawing attention to this issue, but suicide prevention needs to be an all year round activity. That’s why we are working with Mid Kent Mind to deliver this potentially lifesaving training and we’d recommend everyone to attend a session because you never know when you may need to be prepared to have a lifesaving conversation with a friend, a loved one or a complete stranger.”
People are also being reminded of the help available in Kent including an easy to use mental health text service and helpline – you can call ‘Release The Pressure’ for free on 0800 107 0160. This 24-hour helpline is staffed by mental health professionals. Alternatively, you can text the word ‘Kent’ to 85258 for text support. Find more information at www.releasethepressure.uk
You can learn more about the Mid Kent Mind training at: www.maidstonemind.org/free-digital-suicide-prevention-training/ and www.maidstonemind.org/free-youth-suicide-prevention-training/