Could you write a blog for us?

Harmless would like to invite you to contribute to our blog. Our blog is important to us because it helps us convey a range of issues around self harm and suicide to the public. It helps us reach people in distress and promote better understanding about these issues among our readers.

It helps us tell you about our work, upcoming events, dispel myths and offer advice. But we also want it to challenge stigma and to offer real stories about self harm and recovery so that people reading this can feel connected to what we do and who we help.

If you would like to write a blog for us about your experiences, then you can submit this to info@harmless.org.uk with the title ‘blog post’. In your email, please tell us what name you would like us to use for you. You can say as little about your identity as you want.

The blog should be about 200 -300 words in length and shouldn’t be graphic in any way, but should offer the reader an insight into your experiences that mighty help them relate to self harm, distress, or suicide. The blog could be about what you’ve felt or experienced, what’s helped, or not helped… What needs to change, or what he stigma around these issues has been for you.

It is vital to harmless that we represent your voice and your experiences, so if you feel you can contribute to this blog, please do.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Self harm rates in UK detention centres and prisons

We know that self harm doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone, of any age, anywhere. There are frequently reports in the UK news about high rates of self harm in prisons, and we know that people are uniquely vulnerable when they are in contact with the criminal justice system.

In April 2018, The Independent reported that at least one person a day is self-harming in UK detention centres, and that 2017 saw the highest number of deaths in detainees on record, including six suicides. In addition, self harm incidents in prisons increased by 73% between 2012-16 and there were 120 suicides in prison in 2016 – this is the highest figure on record for any given year.

Cuts to funding and staff have left prisoners and detainees in a more vulnerable position than ever. We want to ensure that all professionals working with people who are at high risk of self harm and suicide are better equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to help provide support and promote recovery. Harmless’ Let’s Talk Training team provides courses on self harm awareness, suicide prevention, and mental health awareness. If you would like to find out more, please email us: training@harmless.org.uk

Give a helping hand to those who need it

Here at Harmless & the Tomorrow Project we provide lifesaving support to those who self harm and those who are at risk or bereaved by suicide. But we can only provide these services with your help.

Support from the community is vital, through means such as donations and fundraising. From these acts of generosity and kindness we are able to provide support to those who really need it, helping to create a real sense of hope for vulnerable people.

One off donations

If you would like to make a one off donation, you can do so through our LocalGiving pages at the following links:

Harmless: https://localgiving.org/charity/harmless/

Tomorrow Project: https://localgiving.org/charity/harmless/project/tomorrowproject/

Monthly donations

If you would like to continually support our work, you can set up a regular donation at this link: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless/monthly

Fundraising

If you would like to become one of our fantastic fundraisers, whether you have an idea for a fundraising activity or would like to talk to us about how you can set one up, please contact us using the details at the end of this blog. Whether it be a sponsored sky dive, a coffee morning, or even a fun day, we would love to hear from you with your thoughts.

Contact us

If you would like to contact us about how you can support us or about the work we do, please contact us using any of the methods below:

Email: info@harmless.org.uk

Phone: 0115 880 0280

Facebook: @HarmlessUK or @harmlessthetomorrowproject

Twitter: @HarmlessUK or @lifevsuicide

In the News – ‘Find the courage to ask people how they are feeling’: Zoe Ball opens up about boyfriend Billy Yates’ suicide

Zoe Ball’s world changed the day her boyfriend Billy Yates was found dead at home after taking his own life aged just 40 after a long battle with depression.

Ten months on, Zoe, 47, admits she’s haunted by thoughts of why she couldn’t save him, having to tell herself each day that nothing more could have been done.

You can read the full article at the following link, including a short video, featuring some of the people that have been supported by the Tomorrow Project over the past few years: https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/find-courage-ask-people-how-12220922 

Exercise and mental health

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and if we consider the wider impact on our friends and family, then actually most of society will be affected in some way.

Mental illness can have an impact on a person’s cognitive, behavioural and social functioning and can be a liberating illness.

Exercise is well recognized as an effective treatment for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness and is recognized for alleviating depressive symptoms.

Exercise can make a big difference in mood and should be a fundamental part of mental health treatment. Even one workout a week is known to have great benefits.

By adding exercise into your life you could see benefits in improved mood, sleeping better, feeling more energized, healthy coping and release of ‘happy’ hormones called endorphins.

Cycling to save lives…the longest road home.

With exercise on the mind we wanted to let you know that we have recently been working with Zoe Ball and the Sport Relief Campaign Team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Zoe lost her partner to suicide last May. As such she has decided to undertake a sport relief challenge to raise money for comic relief but also to raise awareness about the issues she and her partner, faced.

We were privileged enough to spend some time with Zoe over the course of the filming and get to know her story. Billy had long suffered from depression and died in May as a result of his struggle.

Zoe will spend the next five days cycling Blackpool to Brighton on her #HardestRoadHome cycle and will be on BBC breakfast each morning to raise awareness of the cycle and to get people talking about mental health.

There will also be a documentary on the evening of March the 21st that will feature our work with The Tomorrow Project and then again throughout the campaign evening of the 23rd of March.

Please show your support for the challenge, for all that Zoe stands for and is fighting for and facing herself, and please tune in to the documentary.

We’ve worked so hard to bring the suicide prevention and bereavement agenda to light in this piece of work and we hope that this is a good opportunity to galvanise the support and momentum needed to keep our wonderful services in the position they need to be – saving lives.

To support us: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

To support Zoe: https://www.sportrelief.com/news-and-tv/zoes-hardest-road-home

To all of our supporters…

We wanted to let you know that we have recently been working with Zoe Ball and the Sport Relief Campaign Team.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Zoe lost her partner to suicide last May. As such she has decided to undertake a sport relief challenge to raise money for comic relief but also to raise awareness about the issues she and her partner, faced.

We were privileged enough to spend some time with Zoe over the course of the filming and get to know her story. Billy had long suffered from depression and died in May as a result of his struggle.

Zoe will spend the next five days cycling Blackpool to Brighton on her #HardestRoadHome cycle and will be on BBC breakfast each morning to raise awareness of the cycle and to get people talking about mental health.

There will also be a documentary on the evening of March the 21st that will feature our work with The Tomorrow Project and then again throughout the campaign evening of the 23rd of March.

Please show your support for the challenge, for all that Zoe stands for and is fighting for and facing herself, and please tune in to the documentary.

We’ve worked so hard to bring the suicide prevention and bereavement agenda to light in this piece of work and we hope that this is a good opportunity to galvanise the support and momentum needed to keep our wonderful services in the position they need to be – saving lives.

To support us: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless

To sponsor Zoe directly: https://www.sportrelief.com/news-and-tv/zoes-hardest-road-home

In the News today: The NSPCC is calling on the Government to shift the focus of children and young people’s mental health services towards early intervention

More than 5,000 children in Derbyshire have been referred to specialist NHS mental health services in the last two years, the NSPCC has revealed.

The NSPCC obtained new figures via a Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England which found the equivalent of 150 children a day from across the country were rejected for treatment between 2015 and 2017.

In Derbyshire, a total of 2,673 cases were referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) between 2015 and 2016. Of those, 497 were not accepted for treatment.

Between 2016 and 2017, 2,358 cases in Derbyshire were referred to CAMHS and 376 of these were not accepted for treatment.

However, the information obtained by the NSPCC revealed that all of the cases in Derbyshire which were rejected by CAMHS were referred to other services.

The NSPCC is calling on the Government to shift the focus of children and young people’s mental health services towards early intervention, to ensure that young people’s mental health does not have to reach crisis point before they are able to get help.

On average, children in Derbyshire are waiting around six weeks, or 32 days, to see a specialist after their referral being accepted.

The findings follow news last month that the NSPCC’s Childline delivered a record number of counselling sessions to children reporting suicidal feelings in 2016/17. Mental and emotional health is now the most common reason for a child to contact Childline, with the service carrying out 63,622 counselling sessions in 2016/17.

NSPCC chief executive, said: “It is desperately sad to see so many young people facing distress around mental health issues being forced to wait months for assessment by CAMHS, many of whom are then rejected for treatment altogether. This risks leaving them in limbo while their condition potentially reaches crisis point.

“We recognise the hard work of mental health professionals in trying to help young people get their lives back on track. However, too many children who need help are struggling access support and treatment which can help them to recover. The Government’s upcoming Green Paper on mental health must urgently evaluate the early support systems available to young people to ensure that no child is left to suffer in silence.”

Link to full article here: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/more-5000-derbyshire-children-referred-806965

In the news: Police receive new powers to search people with mental health needs

Guidance issued to police will see many new changes in the way police respond to call outs from December 11. Police will now be expected to “keep” individuals at a ‘place of safety’ (including, potentially, their home) rather than move them to hospitals or police station, which what has typically happened to date. 

Police are to receive new powers next month to search people with mental health needs. The new search power allows police officers to search people in distress when section 135 or 136 (‘sectioning’) orders are imposed. Mental Health Today were first last week to reveal 1,000 people vulnerable people were detained in police cells last year. New guidance released by the Department of Health reveals police will now be given the powers to carry out searches for “their own safety”. 

Guidance issued to police today will see many new changes in the way police respond to call outs from December 11 onwards:

• section 136 powers may now be exercised anywhere other than in a private
dwelling

• it is now unlawful to use a police station as a place of safety for anyone under the age of 18 in any circumstances

• a police station can now only be used as a place of safety for adults in specific circumstances, which are set out in regulations

• the previous maximum detention period of up to 72 hours has been reduced to 24 hours (unless a doctor certifies that an extension of up to 12 hours is necessary)

• before exercising a section 136 power police officers must, where practicable, consult one of the health professionals listed in section 136(1C), or in regulations made under that provision

• a person subject to section 135 or 136 can be kept at, as well as removed to, a place of safety. Therefore, where a section 135 warrant has been executed, a person may be kept at their home (if it is a place of safety) for the purposes of an assessment rather than being removed to another place of safety

• a new search power allows police officers to search persons subject to section 135 or 136 powers for protective purposes.

Link to full blog here: https://www.mentalhealthtoday.co.uk/breaking-police-receive-new-powers-to-search-people-with-mental-health-needs

 

 

Suicide Prevention Service, The Tomorrow Project, hosts an event on 8th September exploring The Tomorrow Projects pathways, in line with World Suicide Prevention Day on September the 10th, 2017.

The Tomorrow Project will be hosting an event exploring the suicide prevention pathways, two days before World Suicide Prevention Day, 2017. Delegates will have the opportunity to hear about the life saving work we have been doing as well as hearing directly from people who have benefited from this innovative service, who will be telling their stories. The Tomorrow Project was established in South Nottinghamshire in 2012 after there were a number of deaths to suicide in a local community. By galvanising local support, bereaved families and professionals, The Tomorrow project was established to deliver services and support to reach people in distress and reduce suicide.

The Tomorrow project will also be hosting an introduction to effective risk assessment around suicide. This workshop will establish basic principles on effective risk assessment considering the following areas: Identifying risk factors, understanding & developing evidence based risk assessment tools, establishing current emotional states & behaviours and reviewing & revisiting risk.

Whilst there has been significant attention paid locally and nationally to suicide prevention, it remains a very specialist and under funded piece of work.

The bereaved by suicide also remain an overlooked group. These individuals are at an 80% increased chance of unemployment and a 1 in 10 chance of attempting suicide.

When compared with people bereaved through other causes, those bereaved by suicide are at an increased risk of suicide, psychiatric admission and depression, as well as suicide attempt and poor social functioning.

Penny Johnson, a bereaved mother, lost her son to suicide and says: “The Tomorrow Project is so vital in so many ways. Before my son died, we tried to get him help via the NHS only to be turned away because Jamie was over 18. I pleaded with them to help us, but they said that they couldn’t unless Jamie was the one asking for help but in October, 2012, Jamie took his own life. My family have been in turmoil ever since, each of us needing help in our own way and The Tomorrow Project has been there for us. I don’t know how we would have survived without them.”

The Tomorrow Project’s event is to be held at The Sir Collin Campbell building, September 8th 2017, in line with World Suicide Prevention Day. The team are incredibly excited to be hosting the event and look forward to meeting all attendees tomorrow.

A further ticketed event will be held on the evening of the 7th October at Ruddington Grange in Nottingham to celebrate the work and to raise money for the continuation of life saving work, with a drinks reception, dinner, live music and auction.

Tickets available now via: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Harmless-Celebration-2017