East Lothian charity faces up to Covid-19 mental health challenges

Covid-19 has had an impact on all of us in one way or another. For those working in the field of mental health, with face-to-face meetings on hold for nearly a year, it has required a new and different way of working. East Lothian mental health charity, CHANGES have devised a training course called CHAT (Crisis Handling Awareness Training), delivered online, around crisis care and suicide prevention.

“CHAT is a course designed to train people to help others through an immediate crisis. It does this by looking at how best to negotiate a way through the crisis. We also look at what people can do to help in the very specific circumstances where there is a suicide risk. Its been running very successfully since December. We’re delighted to announce that, with the financial support from the Health and Social Care Partnership, we’ll be continuing CHAT into the new financial year.” (Brian Glass, CHANGES Trainer)

As part of CHANGES evaluation of the course, the organisers were asked to obtain feedback from those doing the training. It has been very positive.

Peter said: “…probably one of the best online trainings I have taken part in… I found the course materials to be excellent”.

Claire said that she had called upon her training when faced with someone who was suicidal: “…without the training I would not have approached them… I was able to help and be confident in knowing that what I was doing would help”.

This training is free to any individual living or working in East Lothian as the Health Social Care Partnership are funding a number of these courses each year. It is also available commercially for any organisation wishing to put frontline staff through the training.

For details of the courses and dates and times contact CHANGES on info@changeschp.org.uk or 0131 653 3977.

ScotRail aiming to save lives with new app

ScotRail has launched a new app for all employee phones and tablets to help prevent suicides on the railway.

Developed by Network Rail in partnership with Samaritans and the wider rail industry, the app gives employees guidance on possible warning signs and how best to support someone in need. It also provides a direct link to the British Transport Police for immediate support and advice.

The app is now available to all 4,500 ScotRail employees on their smartphones and tablets and is in addition to Samaritans’ specialist suicide prevention training that more than 300 ScotRail Alliance colleagues have completed.

The app has been available on all Network Rail Scotland employee devices since 2017.

The ScotRail Alliance is also supporting the ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ campaign, which aims to give travellers the confidence to act if they notice someone who may be at risk of suicide on or around the rail network.

People are being reminded that if they concerned about someone they see on the railway or elsewhere, they should trust their instincts:

  • Suicidal thoughts can often be temporary.
  • Strike up a conversation with a simple question such as asking about the weather, or where they’re travelling today.
  • If you think someone may need help, introduce yourself, encourage them to talk and focus on listening. 
  • There’s no evidence that talking to someone who could be at risk can make things worse. 
  • It’s important to act. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the person yourself, tell a member of staff, a police officer or dial 999.

David Lister, ScotRail Alliance sustainability & safety assurance director, said:

“The ScotRail Alliance takes its commitment to supporting those with mental health problems very seriously.

“Encountering someone in distress on the railway can be a daunting experience, even for the most experienced of our people. That’s why we’ve launched this app for ScotRail employees, to offer quick help and advice to those who come across someone who needs urgent support.

“Thanks to the work done by the rail industry and Samaritans, for every life lost on the railway, six are saved.”

James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans in Scotland, said:

“Suicide is not inevitable and any one of us could have an opportunity to save a life. By empowering their staff to act if they see someone at risk, the rail industry continues to make great efforts in reducing and preventing suicide across Scotland.”

East Lothian based Bidding Consultancy Supporting the Tartan Explorer’s Bid to Cycle the World!

tartanexplorer

It’s startling to learn that 2 people die in Scotland every day because of Suicide and that Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35.

To tackle this, a global suicide prevention movement has been initiated by The Tartan Explorer, Josh Quigley. The movement which started in November 2015 has reached and touched the hearts of over half a million people in over 40 countries worldwide.

On the 26th May 2016, exactly one year to the day after his own suicide attempt, Josh (age 24) will be leaving Scotland on a global mission which is using his second chance at life to help break down the associated social and cultural stigma, encourage others to seek support and ultimately prevent suicide.

Josh, a former Young Entrepreneur of the Year, will be cycling 50,000 miles to over 80 countries on six continents, telling his story and encouraging people around the world to talk about mental health.  Josh envisages that the expedition will take up to 4 years.  During this time he will have no income but will focus exclusively on the trip and meeting people to raise awareness of suicide and the importance of prevention measures.

AMBid
Andrew Morrison, AM Bid Services and Josh Quigley, The Tartan Explorer

Speaking of his upcoming world-covering cycling journey, The Tartan Explorer said:

“I’m determined to inspire others to have positive conversations about mental health. I want to use this movement to help to break down the associated social and cultural stigma, encourage others to seek support and ultimately prevent suicide. This journey for me is a new start, a new life and I will use my journey to help others along the way. All the kind comments, messages and pledges of support really drive me on. I’m very grateful to AM Bid Services and other very kind organisations for their support. I couldn’t attempt this expedition without the backing of others – any help provided is hugely appreciated.”

Impressed and invested in The Tartan Explorer’s passion for educating and helping people around this sensitive issue, Andrew Morrison, Managing Director at AM Bid Services said:

“It is a privilege to be providing some assistance with Josh’s expedition for such an important cause.  Our team has been inspired by Josh’s story and we are pulling out the stops to try to help him reach his goal.  This includes speaking to our many business contacts in a bid to attract a Headline Sponsor who can help with vital funding.”

The message of The Tartan Explorer is clear Any life can be brought back from the brink to achieve something incredible.

To pledge your support to The Tartan Explorer please see the following link https://www.gofundme.com/thetartanexplorer