Exploring the Facilitators, Constraints and Barriers to Suicide Prevention in Primary and Secondary Healthcare Settings

Primary/Secondary Care Mental Health Staff – We need you!

The University of Nottingham and Harmless are conducting research into suicide prevention in primary and secondary healthcare settings.

We are inviting professionals who may often deal with vulnerable patients who self-harm or are at risk of suicide, to share their insights and experiences in a short and anonymous online survey.

What are we asking participants to do?

We are inviting frontline staff, and researchers in this field, to complete an online survey, which takes no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey explores facilitators, constraints and barriers to effective suicide prevention in primary and secondary healthcare settings. All answers are completely anonymous and participants will not be identifiable.

What is the purpose of this study?

We are seeking to identify barriers to effective suicide prevention in primary and secondary healthcare settings, in order to inform future research and ultimately deliver best practice guidelines for frontline professionals. This research has been identified as a research priority.

Can you help to ensure that the guidelines we deliver are informed by the staff who will use them?

To find out more and take part in the survey please visit:

https://nottingham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/exploring-the-facilitators-constraints-and-barriers-to-su

Thank you

Researcher: Laura Chadwick (lpylcc@nottingham.ac.uk)

Supervisor: Joanna Lockwood (Joanna.lockwood@nottingham.ac.uk)

Being kind to ourselves

Hi, I’m Ian – a Therapist with Harmless. The perspective I’d like to share is the importance of being kind to ourselves during this time. This is a scary situation, and if you’re feeling anxious or down, remember that those are completely normal responses to fearful situations. But also keep in mind that our emotions are influenced by our thoughts – if we’re preparing ourselves for the worst outcomes or dwelling on the things we don’t have, then we’re naturally going to feel more fear or sadness. But if we focus on the fact that every second brings us closer to the end of the lockdown and the virus, and that by isolating we’re potentially saving lives, these thoughts can help us keep calm and focused. Have compassion for yourself, and remember that this won’t last forever.

Best wishes,

Ian

One of our Therapists, Rani, talks about helping to get some perspective on our thoughts

Rani talks about helping to get some perspective on our thoughts during the current lockdown situation.

In difficult times, Suicide Crisis Service *OPEN* and accepting new referrals

The Tomorrow Project offers support to those in suicide crisis. It is:

  • direct access
  • a primary care service
  • open to all ages
  • a short term service offering emotional and practical support
  • continuing to offer both face to face and remote sessions
  • operating in Nottinghamshire

Accepting self and agency referrals – all responded to within 1 working day

Email: crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk

Referral line: 0115 880 0282 – please note, we ask that a voice message be left and a member of the team will respond within 1 working day.

Please share this information with your colleagues, friends and family so those who need our support know about this vital service. We are here.

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

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.

Click here to download the application pack for the Suicide Bereavement Support Officer role

___________________________________________________________________

JOB TITLE: 
Suicide Bereavement Support Officer

HOURS: 
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: 
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.

______________________________________________________________________

Click here to download the application pack for the Suicide Bereavement Support Officer role

 

If you have any questions regarding these roles or the application process, please contact us:

Phone: 0115 880 0280
Email: admin@harmless.org.uk.

Harmless and Tomorrow Project Statement: Coronavirus preparation

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Best wishes,

The Harmless and Tomorrow Project Team”

Today is our Nation Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Conference- From Harm to Hope

The day is finally here! Today’s conference is looking at Apathy: The growing need for us to listen to our ‘hysterical’ women. 

This theme is in response to the shocking rise in female suicides. Rates for females’ ages 10-24 has seen the most significant increase with deaths at 3.3 per 100,000 females in the UK.

Research is telling us that whilst men are the most at risk group to die by suicide, the rate of deaths by women are increasing at shocking rate, and Harmless in response have themed our conference around this.

Throughout the day we will see presentations and workshops around self harm, suicide, trauma, personality disorder, domestic abuse, eating disorders and many more. We hope the day will respond to the needs of women, firmly and positively.

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

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.

Click here to download the application pack for the Suicide Bereavement Support Officer role

___________________________________________________________________

JOB TITLE: 
Suicide Bereavement Support Officer

HOURS: 
Up to 37.5 hours per week
(Both part time and full time available)

SALARY: 
Up to £21,819 per annum, pro rata
(Depending on experience)

Please note: Work as part of this role will take place across the East Midlands, 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.

______________________________________________________________________

Click here to download the application pack for the Suicide Bereavement Support Officer role

 

If you have any questions regarding these roles or the application process, please contact us:

Phone: 0115 880 0280
Email: admin@harmless.org.uk.

Support Errol who is raising vital funds for Harmless by running the 40 mile Ultra-Marathon

Errol was in a dark place, but he recovered with the help of his running club. Now he plans to run his first ultra-marathon (that’s 40 miles!) on Saturday 9th May, and he’s raising money for Harmless. We’re impressed, humbled, and extremely grateful.

Here’s what Errol has to say:

“Hi, my name is Errol. I am currently training to run the Dukeries 40mile ultra-marathon, the run is around Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. Although, as I’m finding out, ultras are all about finishing and not about times, I’m secretly hoping to get around in 7 hours. Just two years ago this would have been totally impossible, as up until January 9th 2018 I had not even began running.

The years preceding this point I had been lost in a battle with mental illness after quite a severe breakdown. This had taken everything from me, I had become a virtual recluse in my worst times. The side-effects of the medication had taken me over 20st. and due to self-medicating I had become addicted to alcohol.

Slowly and with much help I had started to turn the corner and was finding recovery, but it wasn’t until my teenage daughter called me fat and lazy in a teenage rant that I decided to try do something about how I had ended up physically.

In early 2018 I took up a running club’s c25k program. The first few weeks were horrid, both mentally and physically. I could barely run half a mile after two decades of very little cardio, but the support I got from the running club really helped get me going. I soon realized my recovery was going better the more I ran, so I took to doing it as much as I could. It’s been a fight all the way but one I have totally enjoyed. It’s a journey that’s helping me get good recovery and maybe helping me get back into the world.

I’m never going to be a great runner or a fast runner after the fights I have had, but after I learned what ultra-marathons were I just knew I wanted to test myself to find my limits and to get over them, and see some great countryside. If I can survive mental health battles and addictions why not try to push myself in something I’m beginning to love? And that’s helping save me

I was unsure about linking my first ultra to raising money for a charity, as I have become quite isolated over my illness and I was unsure it would go well, but I witnessed something on the way home the other day that was both extremely upsetting and sad to see, but also triggering to me and was a stark reminder of where the darkness can take people, especially concerning suicide.

Someone I know mentioned Harmless, and as soon as I looked into it I decided to try help if I could. It took ages for me to seek any kind of help, but without the help out there with mental health groups, therapy and my running club I wouldn’t be here today. I definitely wouldn’t be trying to run a 40mile ultra (gulp). The fact there are charities out there like Harmless will save lives. I just hope I can raise as much as I can for them.”

For more information about the race, go to www.hobopace.co.uk/dukeries-30-40/

If you’d like to support Errol and Harmless, go to www.localgiving.org/fundraising/my1stultra/ and help Errol smash his target!

The Day It All Went Wrong – A Story Of Strength

I stand on the brink of massive change again.  A feeling I know well enough, a feeling like I’m silently slipping without direction.  Although I am more used to it now the strength of my overwhelming emotions still completely flips me out and I am vulnerable once more.

Throughout my childhood and younger adult life I have experienced repeated trauma and abuse yet I somehow struggled through; an eternal optimist dreaming of a knight in shining armour who would rescue me and take me away from the life I had to live.  It was England in the 1980’s when children didn’t really have their own identity or rights.  I trusted in those I shouldn’t, some I should and an in an overwhelming connection to the earth through a universal purpose which seemed to somehow steer me away from adversity and into strength in the most unexpected ways.  I guess I was like a cat, but unlike a cat I seemed to have more than 9 lives!

It is this strength in adversity I wanted to talk about and I have wanted to share this story for many years but currently only have the courage to do so anonymously through the shame I feel but then I ask myself why do I feel ashamed?  I was poorly; do we feel ashamed to have physical illnesses?  Why is mental health any different?  I am hoping that by sharing about my experiences it will encourage others and encourage me to keep sharing.  I went through hell but have come out with a story I can use to hopefully help others.  The brink I currently stand on is not created within me but in the happy occasion of securing a Peer Support Role on a female inpatient ward at a mental health hospital.  It is important to note here that any massive change can be challenging; even a positive one and in my new role I will be the person I wished I had during my admissions, a person who understands and who has the time to talk.

My negative experiences led me to become very poorly over and over again and I can’t remember how many times I survived lethal overdoses, self-harmed significantly or ran away and I’m sure the eating disorder voice in my head will probably never be silent.  I had many psychiatric diagnoses up to 2011 including anorexia, bulimia, post-natal depression and chronic recurrent depressive disorder.  I have also had physical health issues all my life; scoliosis, hypermobility, congenital rib defect and poly-cystic ovaries then more recently osteopenia, osteoarthritis and radiologically isolated syndrome!  However, although that list sounds exhausting I am amazingly well with it all and can still walk, do exercise and enjoy life! I have fostered an attitude for gratitude and an annoyingly positive attitude.  However, this story is focusing on the day it all went wrong…

I took my first overdose aged 16 and struggled with overdoses thereafter as well as eating disorders and physical self-harm.  My early 30’s (a couple of years after the birth of my second child) I started with hospital admissions, after more acute life trauma, and by the time 2011 came around I had been in and out of inpatient mental health wards more times than I’ve had hot dinners.  One admission lasted around 6 months and I was offered ECT (which hubby thankfully talked me out of).  Every time the tablets didn’t help I was shoved on more medication and at one point I was on around 6-8 different medications.  It was amazing that I managed as well as I did because I was, quite frankly, off my face.

It was around this time the osteopenia was diagnosed after I stood up, twisted my ankle and broke straight across the two leg bones; I was put in a cast.  However, once the two weeks were up they didn’t put me in another full cast but one that could be taken off and my leg could be washed.  Sounds fair enough but it completely freaked me out and I started having psychotic breaks and hallucinations so badly that I gave up hope and I threw myself down the stairs.

In A&E I waited, waited and waited some more; eventually being sent for a mental health assessment.  I had arrived at the hospital early afternoon, had refused to eat or drink and by the time I had been transported and assessed it was around 2am (12 hours later!)  I have no memories and no idea what I said to the Psychiatrist but he let me go home (after assessing me with just us two in the room).  My Mother begged him to keep me in but I must have convinced him, somehow, that I would be OK.

We got home, I went upstairs and went straight out of the window.

I had broken my entire spine and skull needing metal rods inserting and I had three massive bleeds on my brain.  I now know that I was having a complete psychotic break on the day it all went wrong.  I received no support coping with life after spinal surgery or brain injury and because I was mentally unwell for some reason that was the medical world’s main focus.  I didn’t even know the extent of my injuries until I asked for my records a few years ago and I still relive the trauma of the fall in my nightmares and the window remains locked.

Recovery was hard and especially harder on a mental health ward not geared at all for the physical and mental health fusion; no person centred care.  It took days to get the right bed, my clothes all went missing, I struggled to get food and carry drinks, to get washed (asking for a bowl of warm water was like asking for gold) and some staff were truly horrible to me; you get the picture.  The treatment was so neglectful that when I was discharged around 4 months later my back wound was still open and infected because the nurses wouldn’t listen to me and change the dressing more frequently.  Nearly every morning I woke up with my own infected puss against my back meaning clothes and sheets needed constantly washing and changing which I couldn’t do.  It was appalling, they wouldn’t listen to me and to discuss it all I would need to publish a book.

The reason I am sharing this story though is because many amazing things came out of this experience;

  • I finally got a proper diagnosis – Borderline Personality Disorder which eventually let me access Mentalization Based Therapy which has revolutionised my life
  • Fracturing my skull led them to see a white spot on my brain which led to my diagnosis of Radiologically Isolated Syndrome for which I receive medical support
  • The complaint I made meant my local hospital started a mental health liaison team onsite which is now being rolled out nationally as RAID teams. The same hospital are now opening a separate area in A&E for people with mental health with its own entrance
  • The metal rods inserted into my back will help me stand straighter for longer with respect to my scoliosis
  • Although it was hard I got to spend a year at home with my husband
  • I joined my local service user network and helped design the new mental health hospital for our area, I co-deliver training to professionals on Personality Disorder and I wrote a course for the inpatient Recovery College
  • I am a published author on a UK website’s mental health pages
  • Plus much, much more and as an eternal optimist – there is more to come!

I am passionate about mental health and helping develop better strategies and outcomes for people who are NOT JUST their diagnosis.  It shouldn’t have to escalate to the level my illness did in order to get the correct help and diagnosis.  I am 44 years old and I have BPD, dissociative disorder and an acquired brain injury, but I am also a musician, cook, wife, Mother of two and own a very fancy cat named Oliver (my motivational kitty).  I work part-time in the NHS, am a trained Nursery Nurse, have level 2 Mental Health and Counselling, worked abroad in my younger years and love days out by the sea.  Let’s not forget who we are and who our patients are because they forgot who I was when they treated me like an animal.  I’m here to tell them otherwise and fight for those who cannot speak up!

To me, the journey of the soul is about connecting, disconnecting and re-connecting with ourselves and the world around us in a deep and meaningful way, as many times as we need.  It’s OK to have days we hide and days we shine and it’s OK to be silent as well as speak.  Without the pauses there would be no melody to our tunes.  Thank you for reading about the day it all went wrong for me and how it led things going right.