At the moment, our daily activities and routines look very different and this can leave us feeling unsettled and unsure.
If you are struggling at the moment, our suicide crisis pathway is open and offering both face to face and remote support. If you’d like support, get in contact and a member of the team will be in touch to arrange a session with you.
Referral line: 0115 880 0282 – please note, we ask that you leave us a voice message and a member of the team will get back to you within 1 working day
Hi everyone – Rachel from the bereavement team here. I originally wrote a short blog piece for World Book Day at the start of March. But a lot has happened since and it feels all the more relevant now with increasing isolation and all the changes to our daily life. Some people may find ways to navigate the disruption and anxiety between the covers of a book. It may be the opportunity to finally get around to finishing a classic novel or to seek a more light-hearted read for escapism.
I love books and am always reading when I can – a good crime novel or psychological thriller are my usual favourites. Whether to relax, learn, a form of escapism, self-care or a break from our increasing focus on phones and screens it can be a great joy.
New research published by Oxford University Press suggests that reading could be hugely beneficial for our mental health. Whether you are feeling stressed, have lost someone close to you or are dealing with a difficult personal situation, you may find comfort, solace and help in the pages of a book. Some may choose fiction or poetry for escapism, or to seek out their own experiences reflected on the page.
Here are some of the books that helped me after my own bereavement by suicide and other personal losses. There can be something comforting and cathartic about well chosen words and language. In addition reading recovery narratives can increase connectedness, validate our own experiences and help to reduce stigma.
Studies have also indicated that reading works of fiction can increase reader empathy, reduce stress and strengthen your brain as well as prevent memory loss. Enough reasons then to pick up a book regularly – as well as providing enjoyment it may be helping your body and mind too.
As a classed key worker working in this time, I’m finding it really hard to switch off sometimes when I go home from the office.
I worry for my clients that are isolating and hoping that they’re okay without face to face sessions for the time being. Then I get a little stressed that I’m not sleeping when I should be because I’m too busy worrying about things I know I’ve done my best in handling.
And then something occurred to me the other night during one of those stressing moments…
…I’m probably not alone in this feeling, in fact I think a lot if not all my colleagues will be feeling the same.
Change is stressful, especially change that was unexpected and out of our control. But we’re all doing our best and I’m extremely lucky to be a part of a team that cares so much. When I first started my role I was told that our CEO Caroline looks closely at personality in the people she hires, and it really shows! I work with some of the most caring, big hearted, supportive and creative people. They’re always there to give you advice, reassurance, laughter and a helping hand. It’s a difficult time but I’ve watched how changes have been made to work within government guidelines and how everyone has adapted to the new ways and pushed to go above and beyond. From providing a great service, to blogging and vlogging. They’re all doing a great job!
So I wanted to write this blog to let them all know how proud I am to be apart of our teams and how amazing they all are, so if they are stressing they know they’re appreciated and that they’re doing a great job.
Hi! I’m Laura, and this week I joined the Harmless team as a Suicide Crisis Support Officer for the Tomorrow Project. I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of such a fantastic team, and I’ve been welcomed so wonderfully by everybody.
I first heard of Harmless in 2014, when I actually used the service as a client. I stopped using the service in 2015, and in January 2020 I returned to Harmless as a voluntary intern, for which I have been writing an essay about trauma. I have really enjoyed writing about such an important subject, and I’m still continuing to write it from home. As of Tuesday this week, I officially joined the suicide crisis team as a support officer. This week has been a whirl of learning lots of new things, getting to know my colleagues, and being extremely grateful for how my life has turned 180 degrees from 2014 to now. I hope that my summarised story serves as a hopeful reminder to anyone who needs it, that recovery really can happen.
I have come to Harmless after working as a support worker in a low-secure forensic mental health hospital. The hospital specialised in supporting people with personality disorders. Before this, I studied Psychology in Education at the University of York, and spent a lot of time volunteering for Nightline, a listening service for students. These experiences have strengthened my already-existing passion for supporting anyone and everyone with their mental health, and I’m sure that working at Harmless will strengthen that passion that even further.
I have recently joined the team as a new Support Officer for Harmless.
I have a background as a support worker specialising in working with survivors of domestic abuse.
It’s an unusual time to start a new role but what has been clear from my first day is that keeping the service available for people in need during these unsettling times has been the priority for all staff. I’d also like to say thank you to the team as they helped me settle in and answered my many questions!
I believe that being open and talking about how you are feeling can be hugely beneficial to anyone struggling with their mental health, however I also believe we live in a society that does not make it easy for people to do so. Breaking boundaries and challenging stereotypes is a start to helping people and letting others know they are not alone.
I joined Harmless because I really admire the work they do and the beliefs of the organisation. I like the saying ‘be who you needed when you were younger’ and feel proud to work for an organisation supporting people in need and challenging the stigma around self harm and suicide.
I am looking forward to working for Harmless and offering practical and emotional support to people in need.”
“After an exciting career in the fashion industry, I began to feel unfulfilled and wanted to do something more worthwhile with my life. Going back to university to study Sociology and Healing Arts, I entered a new phase of my life supporting students in higher education in Welfare (University of Nottingham) and Specialist Mentoring roles (University of Derby) which lead me naturally into re-training as an Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist (BACP). My approach has a firm person-centered foundation and I apply Attachment and CBT based interventions in a creative and client directed way with a strong compassion focused emphasis. I adore what I do.
Joining the Harmless team at beginning of November, I felt almost immediately at home within an environment where the standard of care and support for the client is paramount but also where the support of colleagues and the value placed on teamwork is profound. Harmless and The Tomorrow Project are a team who are deeply committed to quality of service provision, best practice and a positive contribution to the field of self-harm support and suicide prevention nationally. I feel immensely proud to be part of the team. I also feel inspired by the courage of our clients every day.
Being the mother of two wonderful young people, I am conscious of the immense societal pressures on the individual to behave, perform and present themselves in specific ways which can be immensely damaging to self-esteem and the individual’s sense of hope for the future. It is a privilege to accompanying our clients’ in their journey towards a more hopeful future.
In order to stay positive, I practice mindfulness and do lots of running and walking in beautiful green spaces 😊”
Harmless are pleased to offer this exciting opportunities to join our passionate team and help us save lives. We are looking for dynamic individuals, who are willing to develop their skills; work outside the box and challenge themselves.
We are currently recruiting for a Suicide Bereavement Support Officer to join our team.
There is no set deadline for the Suicide Bereavement Support Officer role and we will be interviewing periodically. Once this position has been filled we will no longer be accepting applications, therefore applying early is advised.
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)
Up to £21,819 per annum, pro rata
(Depending on experience)
Please note: Work as part of this role will take place across Nottinghamshire & Leicestershire, therefore driving will be a necessary part of the role applicants will need to hold a valid driver’s license and have access to a car to be able to undertake the position.
“Harmless and The Tomorrow Project continue to monitor the Coronavirus situation and we want to reassure you that we are working hard behind the scenes so that you can keep accessing ongoing support with minimal impact.
Although we are being proactive as an organisation, it is important to acknowledge that we anticipate there will be some disruption to our services in the future. We cannot confirm what they are at this stage, but we continue to be guided by Government, Public Health England and our closest colleagues in the healthcare profession. For now, most face to-face services remain open and you can continue to access support as you do now.
The health and safety of our clients and staff remain at the forefront of all our decisions. We have increased our cleaning regimes of support spaces and waiting areas, particularly for those that come in to physical contact regularly by other clients and our team members. In addition, we have made the following decisions:
Firstly, we are taking steps to reduce the number of people in our waiting reception area. Until further notice, people attending support sessions will not be able to bring anyone with them to unless you are a parent who needs to bring a minor or a minor who comes with a parent.
Secondly, Crisis Cafe and Drop-In sessions will be suspended with immediate effect. Email support will continue but remains limited in terms of response time and support capability.
We are also in the process of contacting clients currently in receipt of support to complete an additional form as we prepare for the possibility of having to provide support remotely. Although we do not expect to do this right now, we are exploring all possible support options for our clients. In addition, we will use the information you provide to contact you should there be any sudden changes to our services that may affect you.
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to reassure you that Harmless and The Tomorrow Project remain fully committed to providing ongoing support to everyone who relies on our services. Regardless of the barriers and challenges we may face in the upcoming weeks; we will work tirelessly to overcome them wherever possible and continue to provide the vital services we deliver.
I started work with Harmless in September 2019 whilst working towards a Level 4 diploma in therapeutic counselling. I was drawn to Harmless because of their passion and commitment in helping people in often the most difficult times of their lives.
During my time at Harmless I have been amazed by the bravery of the clients to tell their story and reach out for help, but equally overwhelmed by the dedication of the staff at Harmless and The Tomorrow Project.
My style is person-centred. Endeavouring to build genuine relationships by listening without judgement, showing empathy, compassion and understanding.
I come with a varied background, HR Consultancy and Youth Work including running a youth camp in South Wales for 7 years. Prior to working with Harmless I worked for small company that produces Sphagnum moss to combat climate change. I have four children (3 who are teenagers). This has given me a greater understanding of the pressure that our teenagers experience at school, exam pressures and bullying, anxiety about self-image, concerns about the future and feeling powerless to change their circumstances. I am happy to be working with an organisation that is helping people who struggle with these issues.