The Harmless self harm conference #HarmtoHope – The epitome of what Harmless is about…

On 1st March 2017, Harmless was proud to host its 2nd national self harm conference #HarmtoHope which looked at effective services for people that self harm, current thinking and implications for practice.

Whilst most of the plaudits will quite rightly go to our motivational key note speakers, wonderful Chair, brilliant workshop leads and of course, our superb delegates; I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic contribution that our own team made.

The conference demonstrated everything that we are about – a passionate team who work together to achieve a feat often outside our modest resources in the hope that it makes a difference to someone, somewhere. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, time and dedication to plan and host a successful conference and we are eternally grateful to everyone involved.

Today, we will continue with our normal day-to-day roles with a sense of pride that the Harmless team achieved something special.   

We look forward to doing the same next year

 

Darren Fox

Business and Operations Manager at Harmless

 

Would you like to work for Harmless and the Let’s Talk Training team?

We are currently recruiting for a number of positions within the organisation to join our Let’s Talk Training team on a sessional basis. These include:

Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Trainer (Sessional)

ASIST / MHFA Trainer (Bank Staff)

For an application form and job description, or for more information please email info@harmless.org.uk or call 01159 348445 (admin line only). Please include the job title you are applying for in your email.

JOB TITLE: Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Trainer
Hours: Sessional basis
Pay:

  • £150 – £200 per Full Day (Specialist Harmless Training)  
  • £100 – £150 per Half Day (Specialist Harmless Training) 
  • ASIST/MHFA qualified Trainers – Negotiable (Depending on experience)    

IMPORTANT:  FULL DRIVERS LICENSE AND OWN CAR ESSENTIAL FOR THE ROLE

DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Deliver high quality and professional training on behalf of Harmless and its associated projects to external parties including (but not limited to) external organisations, school, professionals and carers.
  • Delivery of a range of training packages including (but not limited to) PSHE workshops, specialist workshops and two day, full day and half day specialist sessions on the themes of Mental Health, Self Harm & Suicide.
  • A willingness to offer personal experience during training delivery  by sharing own experiences of distress (and/or self harm) and recovery (in line with Harmless’ service user led ethos)
  • Represent Harmless in a professional manner at all times
  • Deliver training against agreed learning outcomes
  • Develop and maintain training content in line with changes in the field and to the highest standard upon negotiation with the Harmless Management Team
  • Maintain excellent professional relationships with delegates and/or organisations with a view to secure future training opportunities
  • Be an integral part of the booking process with support from the administration team
  • To ensure all data collection tools are used to monitor and improve upon training delivery
  • Ensure training materials are appropriate for delegates requirements
  • Report to Harmless management regularly about the progress of training and address any issues that may arise, recording relevant statistics where required.
  • Promote the work of Harmless in a positive manner and recommend resources and alternative training opportunities where possible.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with delegates and/or organisations before, during and after training delivery
  • To work with Harmless management in continuously improving Harmless’ training packages including (but not limited to) current content, delivery methods, course materials and handouts, booking process.
  • To work with Harmless management in designing and delivering new training packages in order to meet current demands in training, compete with other organisations and increase revenue.
  • To be aware of safeguarding issues that may arise and follow Harmless protocol in managing this.

JOB TITLE: ASIST Trainer / MHFA Trainer
Hours: Bank Staff
Pay: Negotiable (Depending on experience)    

IMPORTANT:  FULL DRIVERS LICENSE AND OWN CAR ESSENTIAL FOR THE ROLE

This role will be ideal for those who have recently qualified to become ASIST and MHFA instructors.

DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Deliver ASIST and/or MHFA training on behalf of Harmless and its associated projects to external parties including (but not limited to) external organisations, school, professionals and carers.
  • A willingness to offer personal experience during training delivery  by sharing own experiences of distress (and/or self harm) and recovery (in line with Harmless’ service user led ethos)
  • A willingness to travel (nationwide) with occasional overnight stay as required.
  • Represent Harmless in a professional manner at all times
  • Deliver training against agreed learning outcomes
  • Develop and maintain training content in line with changes in the field and to the highest standard upon negotiation with the Harmless Management Team
  • Maintain excellent professional relationships with delegates and/or organisations with a view to secure future training opportunities
  • Be an integral part of the booking process with support from the administration team
  • To ensure all data collection tools are used to monitor and improve upon training delivery
  • Ensure training materials are appropriate for delegates requirements
  • Report to Harmless management regularly about the progress of training and address any issues that may arise, recording relevant statistics where required.
  • Promote the work of Harmless in a positive manner and recommend resources and alternative training opportunities where possible.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with delegates and/or organisations before, during and after training delivery
  • To work with Harmless management in continuously improving Harmless’ training packages including (but not limited to) current content, delivery methods, course materials and handouts, booking process.
  • To work with Harmless management in designing and delivering new training packages in order to meet current demands in training, compete with other organisations and increase revenue.
  • To be aware of safeguarding issues that may arise and follow Harmless protocol in managing this.

 

For an application form and job description, or for more information please email info@harmless.org.uk or call 01159 348445 (admin line only). Please include the job title you are applying for in your email.

Reel Life vs Real Life

Hi there, I’m Claire. I joined the Harmless training team in November to support Harmless with their vital work raising awareness of self harm, suicide and mental health. Despite being here such a short time, I’ve already had some very interesting and thought-provoking conversations. One of these inspired this blog post.

I’ve read lots of articles and blogs about how we portray ourselves online, some making me think hard about “reel life” vs “real life”. I read somewhere that our Facebook posts are like our life’s highlight reel. We rarely show off the boring and hard side to life, instead focusing on our best bits. In our ever-growing comparison and celebrity-inspired society, this can make things pretty difficult, especially for children and young people.

I know that for me, I don’t post pictures where I’m makeup free, exhausted, upset, anxious, stressed or depressed. This is a personal choice as it would make me feel incredibly vulnerable. I don’t want to feel more vulnerable than I already do.

Anyone growing up with social media around them is surrounded by images of people at their “best”; a filtered, altered version of reality. Issues around young people’s self-esteem plummeting to an all-time low, and anxiety at an all-time high are very apparent and problematic. Back in my school days, you compared yourself to those around you at school, then went home and got on with life before repeating the same the following day. I’m not sure what I would have done if I’d had social media, smart phones, apps and an image-filled world of eyebrows on fleek, contouring, vloggers and the high life thrown at me 24/7.

The way we compare ourselves to others has changed. The online world is focused more and more on images, pictures, selfies, snapchats. Growing up comparing your “ordinary” life to someone else’s highlight reel can enable an inwards-spiral downwards into incredibly low self-esteem and issues around identity. This can and has resulted in some young people turning to self harm and even suicide.

The late, great Maya Angelou said “if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”. Maybe we need to apply this to online life. We should take everything we see online with a pinch of salt. Reel life can look fabulous, care-free, exciting and filtered. Real life on the other hand is challenging, draining and sometimes very dull. There is no “edit” option. There’s nothing wrong with this, but for all of the children out there growing up in our online world, we need to remind them that life has ups and downs. We need to build resilience, critical judgement and emotional wellbeing.

Now let me go and take a selfie whilst I’m feeling cheery…

 

Would you like to work for Harmless and the Let’s Talk Training Team?

We are currently recruiting for a number of positions within the organisation to join our Let’s Talk Training team on a sessional basis. These include:

Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Trainer (Sessional)

ASIST / MHFA Trainer (Bank Staff)

For an application form and job description, or for more information please email info@harmless.org.uk or call 01159 348445 (admin line only). Please include the job title you are applying for in your email.

JOB TITLE: Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Trainer
Hours: Sessional basis
Pay:

  • £150 – £200 per Full Day (Specialist Harmless Training)  
  • £100 – £150 per Half Day (Specialist Harmless Training) 
  • ASIST/MHFA qualified Trainers – Negotiable (Depending on experience)    

IMPORTANT:  FULL DRIVERS LICENSE AND OWN CAR ESSENTIAL FOR THE ROLE

DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Deliver high quality and professional training on behalf of Harmless and its associated projects to external parties including (but not limited to) external organisations, school, professionals and carers.
  • Delivery of a range of training packages including (but not limited to) PSHE workshops, specialist workshops and two day, full day and half day specialist sessions on the themes of Mental Health, Self Harm & Suicide.
  • A willingness to offer personal experience during training delivery  by sharing own experiences of distress (and/or self harm) and recovery (in line with Harmless’ service user led ethos)
  • Represent Harmless in a professional manner at all times
  • Deliver training against agreed learning outcomes
  • Develop and maintain training content in line with changes in the field and to the highest standard upon negotiation with the Harmless Management Team
  • Maintain excellent professional relationships with delegates and/or organisations with a view to secure future training opportunities
  • Be an integral part of the booking process with support from the administration team
  • To ensure all data collection tools are used to monitor and improve upon training delivery
  • Ensure training materials are appropriate for delegates requirements
  • Report to Harmless management regularly about the progress of training and address any issues that may arise, recording relevant statistics where required.
  • Promote the work of Harmless in a positive manner and recommend resources and alternative training opportunities where possible.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with delegates and/or organisations before, during and after training delivery
  • To work with Harmless management in continuously improving Harmless’ training packages including (but not limited to) current content, delivery methods, course materials and handouts, booking process.
  • To work with Harmless management in designing and delivering new training packages in order to meet current demands in training, compete with other organisations and increase revenue.
  • To be aware of safeguarding issues that may arise and follow Harmless protocol in managing this.

JOB TITLE: ASIST Trainer / MHFA Trainer
Hours: Bank Staff
Pay: Negotiable (Depending on experience)    

IMPORTANT:  FULL DRIVERS LICENSE AND OWN CAR ESSENTIAL FOR THE ROLE

This role will be ideal for those who have recently qualified to become ASIST and MHFA instructors.

DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Deliver ASIST and/or MHFA training on behalf of Harmless and its associated projects to external parties including (but not limited to) external organisations, school, professionals and carers.
  • A willingness to offer personal experience during training delivery  by sharing own experiences of distress (and/or self harm) and recovery (in line with Harmless’ service user led ethos)
  • A willingness to travel (nationwide) with occasional overnight stay as required.
  • Represent Harmless in a professional manner at all times
  • Deliver training against agreed learning outcomes
  • Develop and maintain training content in line with changes in the field and to the highest standard upon negotiation with the Harmless Management Team
  • Maintain excellent professional relationships with delegates and/or organisations with a view to secure future training opportunities
  • Be an integral part of the booking process with support from the administration team
  • To ensure all data collection tools are used to monitor and improve upon training delivery
  • Ensure training materials are appropriate for delegates requirements
  • Report to Harmless management regularly about the progress of training and address any issues that may arise, recording relevant statistics where required.
  • Promote the work of Harmless in a positive manner and recommend resources and alternative training opportunities where possible.
  • Maintain excellent relationships with delegates and/or organisations before, during and after training delivery
  • To work with Harmless management in continuously improving Harmless’ training packages including (but not limited to) current content, delivery methods, course materials and handouts, booking process.
  • To work with Harmless management in designing and delivering new training packages in order to meet current demands in training, compete with other organisations and increase revenue.
  • To be aware of safeguarding issues that may arise and follow Harmless protocol in managing this.

 

Our CEO, Caroline Harroe, recognised with the Janey Antoniou Award

On Saturday our CEO, Caroline Harroe attended the Rethink AGM and Members Day in Birmingham, where she was recognised with the Janey Antoniou Award.

The Award was to recognise those who raise awareness and combat stigma associated with mental health illnesses and those campaigning for the better care for people affected by mental illness both inside and outside of healthcare

Caroline is honoured to be recognised in such a category for the vital and lifesaving work that she does. All of the team here at Harmless and the Tomorrow Project are extremely proud of Caroline for her fantastic achievements.

Meet our Clinical and Support Services Team

During my time as Clinical and Support Services Manager I have observed Harmless and The Tomorrow Project grow from a very small area in an office with three members to what it is today. I am proud to say I have been part of the team over the past nine years. We have grown from strength to strength enabling access to psychological services, information, training and consultancy to people who are at risk of self harm, suicidal thoughts and intent; their friends, families and professionals. People self harm to manage their distress, and as high as 1 in 10 people have at some point coped in this way. At the heart of our service there is a real sense of hope and recovery, we know that with the appropriate help, life experiences can ultimately be improved. You can help us to reduce the stigma and isolation for people who are struggling by being willing to talk about this subject.

The Tomorrow Project is a confidential suicide prevention project that has been set up to support individuals and communities to prevent suicide. Suicide is a decision that someone makes to end their life when they feel overwhelmed by their life circumstances.  The struggles they face can seem too difficult or painful and they feel and think like they have run out of options. We are providing crisis services in the community to people at risk of suicide and support to families and communities who are bereaved by suicide. Talking about the subject will shatter stigma, enable people to share their story and therefore find the support they need.

I’m excited to build on clinical services within Harmless and The Tomorrow Project working with colleagues and the community to give our community the resources, training and support needed to do your bit in supporting, signposting, and enabling help seeking.

Over the past few weeks the Tomorrow Project Team have launched our new Crisis Cafe, named by people attending, as the Catch Up Cafe. Here you can meet the team:

Adrienne Grove

Clinical and Support Services Manager

 

Val Stevens

Harmless Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Worker

 

Colin Menz

Harmless Project Worker

 

Bevan Dolan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker

 

Katie Smith

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker

 

Ashley Dunstan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Bereavement Project Worker

 

For those of you looking for some support, wanting to meet the team or just a chat up, get in touch and come have a cuppa with us. To find out when the next Catch up Cafe will be, contact us at info@harmless.org.uk. See you at the catch Up Cafe!

Adrienne

Working as part of the Let’s Talk Training Team for Harmless

You may have seen recently that we’re recruiting here at Harmless, for Sessional Trainers. As the Training Co-ordinator for Harmless, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you what it is like to be a part of this growing team.

Firstly, no working week is ever the same as the previous. Each week brings something new and exciting, new challenges and new achievements.

The Training Team get to travel all around the country, delivering bespoke or standardised training packages, attending conferences and events, going to meetings and so on. We mean it when we say all round the country. One day we could be in Dover, the next in Newcastle, another day we could be in Somerset and another Manchester. My favourite place to go has to be London.

The best bit about the travelling to all these exciting and beautiful places, is we get to meet and support so many people. To build or enhance skills, and also instil confidence in them in their professional and personal lives, by providing training around some very sensitive issues. We also get to meet many professionals in the field as well.

On a day to day basis, we spend our time supporting organisations and services with their training needs. We review all our content to ensure it is up to date with new and emerging research, check that it is in line with current standards and guidelines and importantly, that it has service user led strategies to support distress. We get to design new resources and activities, make films to use within training, project manage training contracts. The list goes on.

As well as going nationally, we also plan and run a range of training packages in house, that includes our own bespoke CPD accredited self harm training, mental health and suicide awareness and prevention training, ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid). We also run a lot of PSHE sessions within schools, looking at emotional wellbeing and resilience for young people, as well as providing workshops for staff and parents.

Finally, I get to work with the rest of the team to organise fundraising events (don’t forget to join us on 7th October 2016 for this year’s event), we organise our annual conference - ‘From Harm to Hope’ (1st March 2017 – make sure you join us for that too!). I get to attend radio interviews, speak at events to lots of people at a time, we attend award ceremonies! I’ve even been on the TV with the rest of the team too!

So, all in all, it’s a team that keeps you busy! But it’s also an exciting and rewarding team to be a part of.

If you would like any information on the training we provide, our event or conference, please contact us on info@harmless.org.uk

Trying my hand at something different…

As well as delivering training nationally I also get to try my hand at many other projects within Harmless and a couple of weeks ago I got to do just that.

Caroline Harroe, our CEO, and I worked with Nottingham University to help create some short clips which are going to be used to disseminate research findings on Young people and Self harm. To help us create these innovative pieces we had fantastic support from a local organisation the NBV Media Studios, recommend to anyone looking for support in creating small media pieces for their company.

I exchanged my projector and laptop for green screens, cameras and editing software and I must say the day was fun and inspirational! To have the ability to capture these young people’s feelings and experiences on camera was truly humbling.

We see so much in the news about Young People and what should be done for them, however, how often do we ask young people directly what they want, or how they see things? In a single day it became crystal clear that we spend much of time worrying, fearing the worst, predicting the outcomes and yet, if we stopped and listened we would be all the more wiser for it. Over protection does not lead to prevention, empowerment and collaboration do!

To see or hear from first hand experiences then why not sign up or book on to our training? Email: training@harmless.org.uk

For more information on this research, “Understanding and Responding to Self harm in Young People: Findings from the Listen-UP! Project,” why not attend the workshops:

Nottingham City centre 23rd/24th June 10am-2pm
Leicester City centre 27th/29th June 10am-2pm

http://www.listen-up.ac.uk/listen-up/dissemination.aspx

For more information on NBV Media Studio: https://nbv.co.uk/property/media-studio/

Would you like to work for Harmless and The Tomorrow Project?

We are currently recruiting for a number of positions within the organisation to join our specialist self harm and suicide prevention team.

For an application form and job description, or for more information please email info@harmless.org.uk or call 01159 348445 (admin line only). Please include which job you are applying for in your email.

Positions:

  • Suicide Bereavement Project Worker
  • Suicide Crisis Project Worker

Application closing date(s) Friday 18th March 2016.

Interviews to be held w/c 28th March 2016.

More information on all positions can be found below:

JOB TITLE: Suicide Bereavement Project Worker

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Pay:  £19k to £24k pro rata (Depending on experience)

 We are currently recruiting a project worker to join the Harmless team. This role will primarily involve working with clients who access the service who experience self harm or are at risk of self harm and suicide.

MAIN PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE JOB

  • To provide a bereavement pathway for individuals effected by the traumatic loss of a self-harm or suspected suicide death.
  • To provide an early response (within 72 hours) of bereavement, making contact with the primary bereaved and informing them of our service
  • To distribute the Help is at Hand document to all bereaved families with whom we have contact and to undertake a preliminary assessment of need and risk.
  • To offer, for those wishing to uptake, a short term support service of individualised care in order to promote the health, hope and recovery amongst people impacted by suicide.
  • To support and offer information relating to the inquest process.
  • To work collaboratively with communities of need to promote health and recovery amongst individuals by using and demonstrating a range of non-clinical interventions that promote coping and resilience and that enable people face and overcome their traumatic bereavement.
  • To support the recovery of service users by engaging in activities and practical support that will improve the quality of life, for instance support employment, social engagement, advocacy and housing; to support clients to manage the very specific set of difficulties that can be faced when a traumatic bereavement through self harm.
  • To ensure that clients are engaged in the appropriate services to meet their longer term support needs.
  • To co-ordinate, where necessary a safeguarding response in line with local practices and services to ensure that an individual is safe and has a coordinated package of care to ensure they survive their crisis in the most helpful manner for them.
  • To support the Clinical and Support services manager to uphold the short term, medium term and long term organisational and the clinical and support team’s objectives.

OTHER DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

To undertake collaborative multidisciplinary work to uphold safety and support for the communities of need e.g. working with school staff, mental health staff or peers to ensure they are contained by well-informed communities.

  • To uphold and assist referral pathways for service users and reduce stigma associated with seeking help for suicide bereavement and/or crisis and/or working with other services to promote the most effective care package for the individual.

JOB TITLE: Suicide Crisis Project Worker

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Pay:  £19k to £24k pro rata (Depending on experience)

MAIN PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE JOB

  • To provide an assertive outreach approach across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, to promote a preventative and early intervention approach to people experiencing suicide crisis that are not eligible for existing provision.
  • To work collaboratively with communities of need to promote health and recovery amongst individuals by using and demonstrating a range of non-clinical interventions that promote coping and resilience and that overcome crisis.
  • To support the recovery of service users by engaging in activities and practical support that will improve the quality of life, for instance support employment, social engagement, advocacy and housing.
  • To ensure that clients are engaged in the appropriate services to meet their longer term support needs.
  • To co-ordinate, where necessary a safeguarding response in line with local practices and services to ensure that an individual is safe and has a coordinated package of care to ensure they survive their crisis in the most helpful manner for them.
  • To support the Clinical and Support services manager to uphold the short term, medium term and long term organisational and the clinical and support team’s objectives.

OTHER DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

To undertake collaborative multidisciplinary work to uphold safety and support for the communities of need e.g. working with school staff, mental health staff or peers to ensure they are contained by well-informed communities.

  • To uphold and assist referral pathways for service users and reduce stigma associated with seeking help for suicide crisis and/or working with other services to promote the most effective care package for the individual.

‘Get over it’

As I sat and reflected before 2 days of Mental Health First Aid Training, I started thinking about anxiety, more specifically,  phobias and fears.

As a mental health condition, anxiety is a condition that is disregarded very quickly and easily by society, however anxiety is an extremely debilitating mental health condition.

Something I find really challenging is when someone has a genuine fear and people are so quick to shrug it off as irrational or pathetic. It’s doesn’t matter if it is ‘irrational’ it is still real for that person! I’m quite sure at some point in all our lives we have all experienced fear in some sense, whether it be of an object, a situation, a social occasion, a place, or anything at all. I’m sure we all know what fear feels like. Even if you have ever only experienced it for a short period of time when a situation hasn’t felt quite right or before you did something out your comfort zone that scared you for a couple of minutes, we’ve all felt that overwhelming sense of fear.

The thing is with fear, when a person experiences a real fear for them (and important to state here is that what may seem pathetic and insignificant to one person could have huge significance for someone else) all that person can think about is the worst case scenario!  I’m going to die, I won’t survive this situation,  this is too much and this feeling is overpowering and all consuming! At that point a person can’t rationalise how they’re feeling. They can’t make sense of that situation to say ‘actually, no, what am I thinking? All is good and I am safe’. People can’t rationalise those thoughts and feelings.

I write this thinking of my own experience of my biggest fear. Flying. See, now I love travelling and have travelled all round the world seeing and experiencing some amazing places and cultures and never used to have any problem flying. However, a number of years ago, I had a panic attack on a flight home from a family holiday. I’d never experienced that on a plane before and found it extremely distressing. Ever since that flight I have been utterly terrified of flying. To the point of even thinking about going on a plane or seeing planes in films gets my pulse racing and my palms sweating, leads me to have bad dreams and just generally feeling terrified and panicked.

I think what I find the most difficult to get my head round is when I have people telling me to ‘get over it’ or ‘you need to get over your fear of flying’ or ‘stop being stupid’. At that moment in time I don’t need someone telling me I need to ‘get over it’. If I knew how to do that I would have done it ages ago because I don’t like to feel scared, I don’t like complete strangers seeing me nervous and panicked, I don’t like feeling like I am going to die because I’m thinking the worst case scenario!! I don’t like to be afraid but I am and I need support for that. I need someone to say ‘you’ll be ok’ or ‘you’re safe, you’re not on your own, I’m here with you’

How is my fear of flying any different from your fear of heights or your fear of bees or your fear of spiders or your fear of meeting new people and social occasions or whatever it is you fear?  Why is it OK for you to feel scared but not me?

So basically,  I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that fears and phobias are real! They’re debilitating! They’re all consuming!  We all know what fear feels like, so next time I’m scared and I feel alone and vulnerable, how about you take a little time to think about how you feel when faced with your phobia and then think about the support you would need and apply that to others.

Mental Health First Aid Training is being delivered again by Harmless on 21 and 22nd January. Come along and gain the confidence and skills to respond effectively to anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Contact sophie@harmless.org.uk for more details.