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

From Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Naomi Watkins

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One of the UK’s leading Domestic Abuse consultants, as featured by BBC and commissioned by Lincolnshire County Council, Bristol City Council and University of Lincoln.

Naomi has worked in the field of Emotional Wellbeing, Healthy Relationships and Domestic Abuse for 10 years. She is a CAADA trained IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) working with high risk cases, at risk of homicide. She has chaired MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences) and worked closely with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Services). She has been trained in Emotional Wellbeing by the NSPCC and ChildLine and worked with them for 8 years.

She has worked with young people from the ages of 0-25years and adults in varying capacities. She has been a nursery worker, deputy manager in a nursery, project worker, support worker, housing officer, drug and alcohol worker, counsellor, domestic abuse worker, ChildLine counsellor and supervisor. She has strong expertise in working with young people and adults, she has had specialist training in Emotional Wellbeing and Healthy Relationships from the NSPCC.

She is a qualified counsellor and has worked with those affected by domestic abuse, low emotional wellbeing, stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, low self-esteem and confidence.

Having delivered various training to volunteers, staff members, professionals, children and young people, she has become a highly experienced trainer. She has written workshops for all levels and delivered to small and large groups alike.

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From Harm to Hope Conference

We are pleased to announce that Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘self harm: suicide prevention starts here’.

As in previous years, the conference will be shaped around the following five strategic areas:

Collaborative partnership
Service user representation
Effective practice
Driving change
Overcoming stigma and discrimination

Our conference gathers together leading academics and experts in the fields of self harm and suicide.

Form Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Alex Parkin

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Alex has 4 years’ experience working previously in nurseries and schools within Lincoln, having developed a passion for working with children with Special Educational Needs, Alex knew this is where she wanted to work. Alex has worked in children’s and adult’s residential settings for two years, providing daily support to them in a home from home setting.

Alex recently returned to education and completed her BSc Hons Degree in Health and Social care at Lincoln University, during her time at Lincoln University Alex started volunteering for local organisations within the care sector. Where she met Naomi Watkins, Alex worked alongside Naomi for over a year teaching Domestic Abuse workshops to young people and teachers. As well as providing nurture groups for young children within schools.

Alex found her passion working with children and young people, whilst supporting them with various topics. Alex began by providing one to one support work with young people, since then Alex has developed a passion to run support groups for young people in Domestic Abuse relationships and for Young Parents.

Since graduating in May 2017, Alex became the Co-founder of NWCH CIC alongside Naomi, a new and unique counselling hub in Lincoln, set up to support and help people within the local community following Alex’s passion.

Alex is also a mum to young children and loves spending time with them visiting new places. Alex can be found reading books and taking long mindful walks with her dog in the local park.

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From Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Sarah Kessling

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After achieving a BA (Hons) degree in Primary Teaching, Sarah began her career teaching at the Royal National Institute for the Blind. This role sparked an interest in pastoral support and led to her completing an MSc in Psychological Well-being. Consequently Sarah implemented this further education within her role as Student Development Officer at a Secondary School in Buckinghamshire. Both her interest in teaching and passion for mental health has led to Sarah delivering in the role of Training Team Leader at Harmless.

Sarah’s role continues to provide many opportunities to become involved in planning, facilitating and evaluation across the broad range of Harmless’ training programmes. 

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From Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Pam Burrows

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Pam Burrows has been speaking professionally for over 25 years in the public sector, third sector and in the commercial world. Previously delivering business skills workshops globally to blue chip companies, for the last 17 years she has focused closer to home on the value of boosting the confidence, energy and positivity of people.

In 2015 Pam won a European OSHA award with Nottingham City Homes for reducing stress in the workplace and also became a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association.

Pam is a qualified Nursery Nurse, Social Worker and Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). She appears regularly on TV and BBC Radio and has produced 2 short films on social issues.

She is taking far too long to write a book and to fill the gap has recently produced an Android and iOS app with free confidence boosting resources. Pam wears a tutu when the mood takes her, gives up sugar and takes it up again on a regular basis and quite likes hugging trees when no-one’s looking.

From Harm to Hope Conference

We are pleased to announce that Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘self harm: suicide prevention starts here’.

As in previous years, the conference will be shaped around the following five strategic areas:

Collaborative partnership
Service user representation
Effective practice
Driving change
Overcoming stigma and discrimination

Our conference gathers together leading academics and experts in the fields of self harm and suicide.

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In the Press: ‘Pupils are so distressed that they think the only way out is death’

Teenagers are attempting suicide because they can’t cope with the stress, and that is partly down to the fact that education has become a conveyor belt of expectations, warns one parent

My 18-year-old daughter has just texted me to say that one of her friends has tried to kill herself and my daughter is on her way to the hospital to see her. Earlier this year, another one of her friends killed himself, despite embarking on what was to have been a happy and exciting gap year.

And at the weekend, my son went to visit his friend who had tried to kill herself and is still in a psychiatric hospital, where I hope she is receiving the help she needs. Her sudden absence at school was unexplained and he had been trying to get in touch with her for weeks. Once he found out what had happened, he immediately made arrangements to see her and spend time with her. She is 16.

One family, two children, three friends who reached crisis.

And our family cannot be the exception. I just hope it is not the norm. The pressure on children is immense. The endless testing, the feeling that if you fail your GCSEs your life is over, that if you fail your A levels you are useless, that if you get anything less than a 2:1 you might as well not have bothered going to university. All ratchet up the pressure to achieve, the guilt, the feeling that you should always be working. No wonder teenagers drink themselves to oblivion or take drugs, seeking to escape by other means.

It starts at nursery, the constant comparisons, the measuring of achievement, the target setting. And all fun is sucked out of learning by the time you are 7, very aware of the stress of Sats and the pressure on your teacher. Children pick up signals from their role models. They know the stakes. And then through the rest of primary school, to Year 6, where the school’s reputation is on the line, to GCSEs, on which your future life is said to be riding, and on to A levels, where you are berated for not working hard enough almost as a constant for the two-year duration. The pressure of A-level results day is such that another girl at a nearby school killed herself on the day – before even opening the envelope. And, of course, her achievements were stellar.

Young people in crisis
Urgent action is needed nationwide for change. Change in how we assess children, change in the support available to them, and change in how easy that support is to access. Schools do their best, but recent reports have said that children are waiting up to 18 months to be seen by the NHS for mental health problems. This is too long. A year and a half can be an eternity to a young person who is struggling. And it is an absurdity to a young person in crisis. It should not be a surprise that desperate acts are becoming more common. The key to stopping any destructive behaviour, be it self-harm or self-criticism, is action – and action is what we need now. Young Minds has outlined what the government should include in its forthcoming Green Paper on children’s mental health. The government must listen to the good sense talked by an organisation that works at the front line of children in crisis. And that is the key. These are children. Children who are so distressed that they think the only way out is death.

We must help our teenagers develop resilience, a skin thick enough for them to survive living in the eye of social media, and optimism about their future. In Brexit Britain, where many teenagers feel betrayed, optimism is hard to come by, but social media can serve many purposes, including one of support and camaraderie. I have not met a friend of my children’s who did not look out for their fellow teens and who was not there when needed. Behind every teenage selfie is someone capable of compassion and good sense.

This is not the snowflake generation. This is a generation of children who have had to learn to live in the critical eye of the social network, with the constant comparisons, with the pressure always to be on point. The commodification of education has created a conveyor belt of expectations, and they believe that if you do not meet those then forget it, your life has no value. Play up, play the game, or game over.

Our children are worth more than this and we should value them for what they can bring to the world. The distress some of them live with cannot be ignored – we must acknowledge it and act now to give them the future they deserve.

Karl Ingram is a pseudonym. He is a parent of teenage children in London

Link to the original blog: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/pupils-are-so-distressed-they-think-only-way-out-death

 

CHEER FOR HARMLESS

As part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win a grant of 2K!!!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

#CheerForGood #HarmlessUK #Nottingham 

From Harm to Hope: Introducing the speakers

Marie Armstrong

Marie Armstrong is a Nurse Consultant leading the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Self-harm Service in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. She has over 29 years’ experience working across the four tiers of CAMHS and in 2000 was appointed as the first CAMHS Nurse Consultant in the UK. Her current role includes 50% direct clinical practice as well as research, teaching, professional leadership, consultation and service development. She has developed and implemented good practice guidelines for the management of young people who self-harm, contributed to the NICE guidelines on self-harm and speaks at conferences. As well as being qualified in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nursing Marie is also a UKCP registered Systemic Family/Psychotherapist.   

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Launch day: #CheerForGood

Starbucks are partnering with Neighbourly to support local community charities with a donation.

Now it’s time to #CheerForGood

More cheers = More lives saved

We NEED You! 

Only 30 charities in the whole of the UK whose supporters cheer the loudest will get a £2,000 grant. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

How to Cheer

Please share and join our Harmless Neighbourly page in our big to shout the loudest! 

Alternatively…

Harmless will be at Starbucks in Giltbrook (near Ikea) today to fundraise! Come along to say hello, and if you can’t, tweet/Facebook post your support for @HarmlessUK with the #CheerForGood and #HarmlessUK hashtags. For those who can pop by, we have a photo prop at the ready.