Prevention is better than cure – looking out for our next generations

We are all aware of the old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’. If we feel we are coming down with a cold, or have the start of a headache, we will intervene early to hopefully prevent it.

Within every school in the UK there is a qualified first aider to hand, in case of physical illness or injury. There is a preventative measure in place should young people need physical first aid help during their time in the learning environment. Their wellbeing and safety is very much considered in this regard. There are effective interventions and systems in place that can be utilised quickly and easily.

Although there have been some positive changes in recent years, when it comes to mental health, this is more often than not ignored. It is the invisible illness with so much uncertainty and negativity still surrounding it.

How often do we come across mental health first aiders in schools?

Unfortunately, not very often at all.

Although we would like to have the same preventative measures applied to mental health as we have in place for physical health, this frustratingly is not the case.

From a recent article from Dr David A Lee, Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, discussing the importance of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in schools, states;

‘It is fundamental that early warning signs of mental health are detected at an early rate in children and adolescents so that prompt action can be taken to ensure helpful support and appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, this is not our reality at present’

This really does bring to the forefront that early intervention is what is needed. We need to be proactive, not reactive.

It is stated within the same article that;

‘5% of adolescents suffer from depression at any one time and 20% will experience depressive symptoms by the time they enter childhood. To add to this, approximately 10-15% of children or adolescents have one or more diagnosable anxiety disorder.’

It is also discussed that eating disorders are on the increase, particularly in young females.

Why as a society are we not more concerned about the rise of mental health issues in our young people?

Emotional wellbeing should be at the forefront when supporting young people. Mental health training should be provided for frontline workers supporting and working with children and adolescents.

Anyone can be trained in mental health and anyone can respond to those in distress.

Why should we let individuals get to such high levels of distress, before we step in, when we all know, and likely use that famous saying ‘prevention is better that cure’

By having trained staff within each and every school, caregivers can detect warning signs of possible mental ill health and ensure that early intervention is implemented. This can be in the form of signposting, liaising with specialists in the field, seeking appropriate professional help, such as psychological treatments, or referring on to a safeguarding lead or pastoral support. While doing so, it is vital we work collaboratively with the individual and empower them to make their own decisions about their needs and wants.

Finally, Dr David Lee goes onto state;

While MHFA is still very much in its infancy as a concept, it offers a unique solution to the needs of schools and colleges in terms of cultivating pupil wellbeing and positive mental health, and to the early recognition of mental health problems’

If you have any training needs surrounding mental health, Harmless can provide bespoke CPD accredited training packages as well as the MHFA 2 day programme

Contact us on…
Phone: 0115 934 8446

Catch Up Café!

The dates for the *NEW* catch up café are here!

We held a focus group with clients who regularly attended our drop in sessions. We discovered a need and want for a safe, comfortable space to catch up with one another, lots of brainstorming occurred about what the clients would like to see, thus, the catch up café was born, along with the phrase ‘C U at the CUC’.

At harmless, we have created a warm, welcoming and encouraging environment for our clients to come and chat amongst each other, along with our friendly staff.


October 18th – 4pm-5pm

November 8th – 4.30pm-5.30pm

December 13th– 4.30pm-5.30pm

The cafes are aimed at those 18+. Our staff will be on hand to provide information on how our service can support you and those you know. They will take place once a month at our Nottingham city office.

See you at the Catch Up Café!

2016 Annual Celebration Event

Friday 7th saw our 9th anniversary of Harmless. The night was buzzing with excitement and the venue was a remarkable space for us to celebrate our work.

My role that evening was to guide everyone through the night. I felt very privileged to do so and very nervous to be hosting such a significant Harmless event. My colleagues, as always, were incredibly supportive and as a team we worked together to ensure the night was a memorable one. We were very fortunate this year to have in attendance the High Sheriff, Judy Naake, and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham both of whom have been big supporters of the work we do. 

There was a delicious three course meal and as we ate we were all serenaded by Polly and her colleague Iian with their wonderful music. A poignant part of the night was when Kate shared with us her personal experience of self harm. It is one thing to speak to one individual about something personal and quite another to speak to a whole room full of people. Kate’s bravery was felt by all of us that night and certainly demonstrated the significance of our service.

The night continued to be a great success with Hayley providing us with some Spoken word poetry, inspiring the poet in us all! Each year so much work and dedication goes into organising the event and ensuring our supporters enjoy themselves. We at Harmless are our supporters’ biggest fans, as without their support we would not have got to where we have today. A big thank you goes to Kate, Hayley and Polly for their time and contributions in making the night even more special.

Our annual event is an important night. It not only raises vital funds to save lives but it also provides us with an opportunity to stop and celebrate the successes throughout the year. Harmless is an extraordinary service and I am very proud to be a part of it.

Next year we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary. We hope to see familiar faces again and if you haven’t attended before then we invite you and those you know to join us for a wonderful night next year!

Today is World Mental Health Day

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is psychological first aid and the support people can provide to those in distress.

All too often we are trained to respond to the physical needs of the people we know and love; we will stick a plaster on a grazed knee or serve a lemsip to someone with flu. 

We will visit our friends in hospital or strike up a conversation about their ailments. 

The same isn’t true when it comes to our mental health. Often we are scared to enquire into the mental and emotional health of those who share our world, for either fear or anxiety reasons we often avoid these conversations. Sometimes we just don’t even notice that someone is struggling or a little ‘out of sorts’, or it may feel a challenge to remark upon someone’s mood or enquire about their seemingly unhealthy weight loss. And for those of us unfortunate enough to have had a psychiatric admission, visitors are not as plenty as with when our physical health fails us.


We all experience difficulties at times in our life. There should be no shame in talking about that. We all understand that emotions can be challenging as well as joyful, life as hard as well as fun, so it should be ok to say that out loud without fear of being judged or isolated. 

We are all capable of extending the hand of support, to a friend, a colleague, a family member. It might be the most important thing we ever do for that other person, so let’s try. Let’s open our hearts and our ears and reach out to someone. We don’t have to have all the answers to be helpful to someone in distress, sometimes a friendly face can be enough to help turn a bad day into a better one. 

It might also, just save a life.

Self harm training is coming to Leicester!

Due to popular demand and in a bid to provide free community support in Leicester we are offering competitively priced training on our Self harm & Working with Self harm training day.

Monday 24th October 2016

£80 per place

This course is suitable for frontline staff who come into contact with and/or support those who self harm or who have experience of self harm, but for whom this is not their primary role e.g. housing support, teaching staff, community support workers.

All training is CPD certified & training includes a resource pack for each delegate.

This training session will take place at:

LGB Depot,
31 Rutland Street


To book your place on this session, or if you would like any more information, please contact us:


Phone: 0115 935 8446


Last chance to get your raffle tickets!


It is now only a couple of days until the Harmless & Tomorrow Project’s Celebration event and the excitement is high. If there is ever an excuse to eat good food, have fun and raise awareness then the 7th October is the time.

To all who are coming, we look forward to seeing you there and to those who couldn’t attend we hope to see you in following years to come. However, it’s not too late to join in!

If you fancy winning one of our amazing raffle prizes then why not buy a raffle ticket?

Tickets are £1 each and all the money raised goes directly towards helping us provide a range of services including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm and/or have suicidal thoughts, their friends and families and professionals.

To get your ticket, you can email, or you can purchase them through our online shop by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

The draw will take place on 7th October 2016 and all winners will be notified within two weeks of the draw taking place. Please make sure you include a phone number and email address so that we can contact you if you win. 

Prizes include:  Pantomime tickets to see Jack and the Beanstalk, Holme Pierrepont white water rafting for two voucher, Photography Studio voucher for Captcha Photography, Riverbank vouchers, Tesco vouchers, 360 play family voucher, and many, many more.

Last 5 tickets remaining to our annual celebration event on Friday!

Due to last minute drop outs we have 5 tickets remaining to our celebration event on Friday 7th October. Get yours now to avoid disappointment!

To get your ticket you can either visit our ONLINE SHOP HERE, send us an email to, or give us a call on 0115 934 8445.

The Venue:        Park Plaza Hotel, 41 Maid Marian Way, Nottingham

The Date:           Friday 7th October 2015

The Time(s):      7:00pm arrival

The Cost:           £37.00 per head

The Event:         Three course meal with raffle, auction, games and live entertainment

Dress Code:      Smart

The purpose:    To raise enough money to save more lives.

Our celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.

Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.

If you would like more information on the event, or would like to book tickets, you can do by clicking here to visit our website, or by contacting us on:


Phone: 0115 934 8445


MP Chris Leslie visits Harmless & The Tomorrow Project, a lovely way to conclude September

Capturing a moment with a rather special visitor, MP Chris Leslie, who came to visit our office on Friday 30th September and what a lovely way to conclude September.

Mr. Leslie was excitedly shown round the Harmless offices and introduced to all members of the team. It was a lovely opportunity to share our work and he was very keen to learn more about the service.

Mr. Leslie also disclosed that they receive a number of people in distress searching for support. This yet again reinforces the importance for support in the community and how services working together can reduce distress and even save lives!

We at Harmless are aware that people in distress are likely to disclose to those with no specific training and therefore we wish to equip everyone with the skills and confidence to be able to respond and signpost effectively.

If you would like support with this then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Let’s Talk Training department at:

Phone: 0115 934 8445