In the news…’Zero suicide’ goal

Lib Dems announce campaign for NHS to set ‘zero suicide’ goal

Labour also calls for more funds for child mental health as parties launch policies on so-called Blue Monday.

Nick Clegg on the Andrew Marr Show. He is promising to sign the NHS up to a national ‘zero suicide’ campaign. Labour and the Liberal Democrats will on Monday launch initiatives on mental health, with Nick Clegg promising to sign up the NHS to a national “zero suicide” campaign while Ed Miliband highlights the need to switch more NHS spending on mental health to children. The deputy prime minister will say that every part of the NHS in England should sign up to eliminate suicides in an attempt to cut the death toll of nearly 4,700 people a year, the majority of whom are men.


Some organisations in Merseyside, the east of England and the south-west have already adapted methods from a programme to combat depression in Detroit, in the US, where suicides were sharply reduced from 89 per 100,000 in 2001 to as low as zero among the patient population over the decade. Now the coalition government will appeal for the NHS, charities and voluntary organisations elsewhere to follow suit.


Both parties have timed their mental health policy launches to coincide with Blue Monday – a marketing invention based on a bogus equation to calculate supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The decision will be controversial because Blue Monday’s media profile has been blamed for trivialising depression. Clegg is hosting a mental health conference at the offices of the King’s Fund health thinktank, at which he will say: “Suicide is, and always has been, a massive taboo in our society. People are genuinely scared to talk about it, never mind intervene when they believe a loved one is at risk. “That’s why I’m issuing a call to every part of the NHS to commit to a new ambition for zero suicides. We already know that this kind of approach can work in dramatically reducing suicides.”




In the news….Why are men more likely to take their own lives?

This week saw the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, appeal for the widespread adoption of a “zero suicide” campaign in the NHS. This is admirable, but a concerted effort to prevent people from taking their own lives would be more effective if we understood why suicide is a particularly male problem. It’s known as the “gender paradox of suicidal behaviour”.

Research suggests that women are especially prone to psychological problems such as depression, which almost always precede suicide. In western societies, overall rates of mental health disorders tend to be around 20-40% higher for women than for men.

Given the unequal burden of distress implied by these figures, it is hardly surprising that women are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts. The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity in England 2007 survey found that 19% of women had considered taking their own life. For men the figure was 14%. And women aren’t simply more likely to think about suicide – they are also more likely to act on the idea. The survey found that 7% of women and 4% of men had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.

But of the 5,981 deaths by suicide in the UK in 2012, more than three quarters (4,590) were males. In the US, of the 38,000 people who took their own lives in 2010, 79% were men.

(These are startling figures in their own right, but it is also worth remembering just how devastating the effects of a death by suicide can be for loved ones left behind. Studies have shown, for example, an increased risk of subsequent suicide in partners, increased likelihood of admission to psychiatric care for parents, increased risk of suicide in mothers bereaved by an adult child’s suicide, and increased risk of depression in offspring bereaved by the suicide of a parent.)

So if women are more likely to suffer from psychological problems, to experience suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide, how do we explain why men are more likely to die by suicide?



Harmless receives a donation from Erewash Valley Running Club.

We would like to say a big thank you to the Erewash Valley Running club who recently made a donation of £130.00 to Harmless to support our suicide prevention and self harm services.


Like many services, we have had massive cuts in recent years and have no current statutory funding. Having support from our community in this way really helps us to continue the important work that we do and allows us to offer vital support for people in crisis.


This money was raised through a raffle which the running club held at their recent presentation evening. The running club has been going for over 30 years and always welcomes new members, their current membership tally being at around 70 people. The club regularly supports local charities through fundraising events and we are delighted that they chose to support Harmless on this occasion.


If you would like to make a donation to support Harmless and the Tomorrow Project, you can do so via our websites


Self Harm and Eating Disorders Conference

Caroline Harroe, the director of Harmless, was delighted to be approached and asked to speak at today’s Self harm and eating disorders conference which is taking place at the Hilton hotel in Glasgow. This is an important opportunity for Harmless to be able to share our valuable knowledge and also shows that we are being recognised as experts in our field.

Caroline will be delivering a session on Practical Strategies and Interventions for Supporting Adolescents who Self Harm, she will also  provide an opportunity after her session for discussions and questions in which other experts will be able to find out more about the vital work we do at Harmless. This conference has been aimed at professionals working in education, social work, local authorities, health care organisations, charity and voluntary organisations, and other professionals who need or want a better understanding of this area.

The conference organisers state that;

“ The problem of self harm in children and young people is a lot more common than people think.According to researchers, 1 in 15 people self harm, while over 1.6 million people in the UK areaffected by eating disorders, the majority between 12–20 years old. The presence of an eating disorder in the teenage years has also been linked to an alarming rate of additional self harm tactics.For many professionals working with teenagers who are experiencing these problems it can beoverwhelming and difficult to know how best to react and help.”

The conference has been arranged by Dr Pooky Knightsmith, a mental health consultant, author and trainer in order to help educate professionals on how best to react and help someone who is experiencing these problems.

Alongside Caroline, other professionals delivering sessions will include Professor Rory O’Connor, Professor of Health Psychology from the University of Glasgow, who will be doing a session entitled “Understanding Self-harm and Suicide Risk” and Dr Alex Yellowlees, Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist, Priory Clinics, who will be discussing “Eating Disorders – What Are They?”.



Kickboxing for the tomorrow project!

Come and join us this Saturday the 26th October , 11:00-13:00, at East leake leisure centre for a kickboxing fitness class in aid of the Tomorrow Project.

Please don’t feel shy as all fitness levels, ages and abilities will be catered for. Run by the coaches and team from a local kickboxing club, this will be a fun and informative session that will also help raise awareness of depression and the prevention of suicide. The session will be strictly non contact with a relaxed and upbeat atmosphere. It is a great chance to meet people or a support network in your area and raise awareness of the tomorrow project.

The tomorrow project is a suicide prevention project that has been set up to respond to the needs and concerns of the local community in East Leake and surrounding areas.

No one wants to loose someone they love and care about to suicide and none of us want to think that our friends and families might consider ending their lives. If we pull together as a community and begin to develop ways of talking to one another about these difficulties, we can start to change the future and reduce the risk of more deaths.

We want to say a special thanks to East Leake Leisure Centre who are providing the room for FREE so ALL your proceeds can be given to the project to help support people who need it in your area. The class is free of charge but we are asking for a donation of at least £5 for the Tomorrow Project.

So come along to the class to meet some of the Tomorrow Project team, have a great 2 hours of kickboxing based fitness and help us raise awareness about this great cause.

Please visit for more information and to book your place.


Harmless and the Tomorrow Project


Representatives of the Harmless and The Tomorrow Project continue to work collaboratively with private, statutory and third sector agencies to promote the reduction of self harm and suicide within the Nottinghamshire area and nationally.

By investing time and building trust we develop key relationships that support positive engagement with our services. We accomplish the breaking down of the barriers of stigma relating to self harm and suicide by creating and maintaining direct relationships with other organisations. We also offer transparency to our work and ethos by inviting organisations to meet with Harmless and Tomorrow Project team to develop increased awareness of the issues relating to self harm and suicide.

Streamlined and targeted interventions, are provide, in the form of bespoke packages, flexibly presenting a spectrum of guidance from emotional health, wellbeing and resilience to more direct training relating to self harm and suicide prevention. By responding flexibly to each organisations’ needs for staff development Harmless and The Tomorrow Project effectively promotes the service and establishes trusting relationships in order To promote the reduction of self harm and suicide within the Nottinghamshire area and nationally.


For further information  please refer to the websites:



New Self Harm and Young People Training Dates

Self Harm and Young People Training Day – 15th September 2014

What this training day provides?

This training concentrates on self harm from the perspective of young people. Harmless are a specialist service and leading organisation in the field of self harm and have years of experience of working with those aged under 18 years old. This training day gives delegates from a broad range of professional arenas an opportunity to get a detailed overview from the experts about self harm and working with young people who self harm.

This training would be suitable for anyone who works with young people or who may come in to contract with young people who self harm or at risk of self harm.

It will aim to enhance understanding and skills to be able to make a positive difference to the life of someone who is self harming, and looks to ensure that we feel more comfortable and confident about working with people who self harm.

Learning Outcomes

  • What self harm is, and who it effects
  • What causes young people to self harm and some of the myths around self harm
  • What can be done to support and help young people who self harm
  • Managing the impact of self harm as an individual and a workplace
  • Useful interventions for working with young people who self harm and promoting empowerment
  • Managing and assessing risk

Venue:  Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham

To find out more about this training and to book a place please, click here or email