Harmless and the Tomorrow Project supporting Health Care Professionals.

Representative from Harmless and the Tomorrow Project attended the National HealthWatch 2017 Conference at the East Midlands Conference Centre last week.

We were given the opportunity to talk to health and social care professional from across the country, raising awareness of the wonderful work that we do.

On our stand we provided information about the Crisis Support  and the Bereavement Care provided by the Tomorrow Project,  the specialist training provided by Let’s Talk Training   and  the therapeutic support provided to individuals who self harm, their friends, families and professionals.

World Health Day- 7th April 2017

World Health Organization (WHO) is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help.

What’s it like living with depression…

I suffer with depression and anxiety and have done for the majority of my life. My way of describing depression is as if someone has poured a large jug of water into your head and your brain is drowning but on the outside no one would know.

Matthew Johnstone author and illustrator of, “I had a Black Dog” decided to write the book as a visual articulation of what it is to suffer depression. His wish is that his story is shared with partners, parents, siblings, friends, even doctors and therapists to help articulate what you or someone you know is going through. He also highlights the importance of recovery explaining that everyone’s path to recovery is different. 

Never, ever give up the fight; Black Dog can be beaten. As Winston Churchill said, “If you find yourself going through hell, keep going.”

What stats have to say…

Depression: let’s talk

To find out more information and what you can do to help visit…

http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/toolkit.pdf?ua=1

 

Harmless and The Tomorrow Project would like to invite you to contribute to our blog

Our blog is important to us because it helps us to 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 amongst 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 might 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 the stigma around these issues has been for you.

It is vital to us 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.

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.”

 

Source; http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/18/lib-dems-zero-suicides-nhs-blue-monday-labour-children-mental-health

 

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?

Source http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/21/suicide-gender-men-women-mental-health-nick-clegg#img-1

 

Harmless provide information stand at QMC Medical School to promote our self harm and suicide prevention services

Harmless personnel have provided an information at QMC Medical School. We had the opportunity to engage with, and received a positive response from the student community, University Professionals and statutory and voluntary organisations.

The Harmless and Tomorrow project’s focus on responding to the issues of self harm and suicide by reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues and promoting to awareness is ongoing.

The presence of a wide range of organisations providing information and support relating to emotional and physical health demonstrates the commitment of the medical school to integrate the emotional and psychological wellbeing of their student community alongside the promoting academic excellence.

Harmless  continues to offer a professional, ethical and responsive self harm and suicide prevention service and demands for our counselling and consultancy services continues to grow.

To contact Harmless, please refer to the websites:

www.harmless.org.uk

www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

Email:

info@harmless.org.uk

Self harm counsellor offers a personal reflection about the work we do at Harmless

Harmless and the Tomorrow Project’s undertakes a self harm and suicide prevention programme in which the key aims are to

  • raise awareness of the issues relating to self harm and  suicidal ideation/intent
  • undertake effective information sharing
  •  challenge the stigma attached to mental health issues
  • Support individuals identified as being at risk.

Members of the Harmless team understand self harm and believe that the journey towards recovery may require different strategies, at different times for managing emotional distress.

As a counsellor within the Harmless clinical team, my work involves supporting individuals who daily face the stigma surrounding mental health issues and more specifically self harm.

Recently, I read with interest the experiences of Louise Pembroke who wrote about her experiences of self harm, regular rejection by A & E professionals and hospitalisation. She spoke of her loss of hope and difficulty caring for herself. The seriousness of her injuries increased in line with her distress. The turning point occurred when an ophthalmic nurse involved in her care noticed her anguish and simply asked ‘what’s wrong, are you hurt?’ As Louise acknowledged her emotional pain and physical injury, the nurse listened emphatically and went on to share information regarding ‘harm minimisation;’ this enabled Louise to safeguard herself from serious injury and undertake appropriate measures for self care.

Louise expressed that:

‘This non-judgemental and practical approach was imparted without any lecturing or catastrophising and had a profound impact on me…. She understood that was where I was at in my life and she accepted me whether I harmed or didn’t harm. I didn’t have to hide it, justify it, or make bargains or promises I couldn’t keep. It was such a relief.’

‘For the first time I had some control over my circumstances.’

Louise Pembroke’s experience highlights the importance of the approach of all professionals when providing services of any kind for individuals who are vulnerable to the risk of self harm.

This knowledge underpins the Harmless ethos of acceptance. We understand that treating each client with respect is of foremost importance; by supporting individuals to develop autonomy, minimise risk and, with time integrate alternative strategies for emotional regulation we believe that recovery is possible.

Naomi Stewart (Harmless Counsellor)

Websites:

www.harmless.org.uk

www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

Email:

info@harmless.org.uk

 

References

Spandler H, Ed Warner S Ed, (2007) BEYOND FEAR AND CONTROL working with young people who self harm Cromwell Press (Trowbridge).

Pembridge L, Harm Minimisation; Limiting The Damage of self-Injury.

Tomorrow Project and Harmless continue to deliver more self harm and suicide prevention work in Nottingham colleges

Harmless and Tomorrow Project personnel have recently provided another information stand at a College within Nottingham. We were positioned to have the maximum visual impact of people passing the Harmless and Tomorrow Project banners; this was a great opportunity to speak informally with students, professionals, and members of the public about self harm and suicide prevention.

The self harm and suicide prevention strategies of Harmless and the Tomorrow project were promoted to raise awareness, and support our drive to reduce the stigma attached to mental health issues.

Professionals within the college demonstrated their commitment to continue the cascade of information regarding our services within future meetings where the focus would be on emotional and psychological well being of their student community.

Harmless offers a professional, ethical and responsive self harm and suicide prevention service and demands for our counselling and consultancy services continues to grow.

To contact us, please refer to the websites:

www.harmless.org.uk

www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

or Email:

info@harmless.org.uk

Harmless team come together to make a positive difference in the field of self harm

It has been a productive day at the Harmless office today as the whole team got together to look back on the past months and plan for the future.  Days like today give our staff an important opportunity to reflect on our progress and look at ways we can continue to make a positive difference to the people who access our self harm services.

These are exciting times for Harmless and The Tomorrow Project and at the heart of our vital services are a team of dedicated and passionate professionals who work tirelessly towards helping others, changing attitudes and saving lives.

Although we are relatively small in staff numbers, our reputation and standing continues to grow from strength to strength. Harmless is now a leading voice for self harm not only on a local level, but a national level and we have not got there by chance. It has taken a cohesive and determined team working alongside each other to make a positive difference in the field of self harm and to those accessing our services.

We are all proud of our achievements in the last year and although we can reflect positively on the progress we have made; we know that there is much more hard work to be done. Although the journey will be long, we will continue fighting as a team.

 

Today is World Mental Health Day

Today is International World Mental Health Day; the day aims to bring together to appreciate the impact and importance of mental health and to strive towards improvements in this area. As a self harm service, we feel strongly that people experiencing self harm, both young and old, have the opportunity to access the help and support they need to face and overcome their difficulties.
Self harm is often a taboo subject, but Harmless will work hard over the next 12 months to increase our public and media presence to influence public perception and reach out to more people.
In the meantime, why not have a look at some of the articles in today’s media about World Mental Health Day.
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/we-can-save-gay-people-self-harm101012
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/news/blog/1083_world_mental_health_day
http://www.ealinghospital.nhs.uk/services/community-services/harrow-community-services/archive/mental-health-services/world-mental-health-day/