Harmless’ CEO in the running for International Humanitarian Leadership Award for her suicide prevention work; please spare a second to vote for her.

(Voting is open now and closes on the 24th August. Support Caroline Harroe. Follow the link, https://toyp.jci.cc, scroll to her profile and then click ‘like’.)

In November, Harmless CEO was awarded recognition as one of the UK’s Ten Outstanding Young People (TOYP) for her work in the field of self harm and suicide prevention, overcoming her own experiences of mental health to promote recovery in others. Harmless’ services have had a reach of over 100,000 individuals in the last ten years, helping to save thousands of lives and reaching those who wouldn’t otherwise have had a place to go for help and understanding.

JCI TOYP serves to formally recognise young people who excel in their chosen fields and create positive change. By recognising these young people, JCI raises the status of socially responsible leaders in this world. The honourees motivate their peers to seek excellence and serve others. Their stories of discovery, determination and ingenuity inspire young people to be better leaders and create better societies.

Nominated originally in the category of ‘Business, economic and entrepreneurial accomplishment’ Caroline stood alongside other UK honourees such as Paralympian David Weir, to receive her award.

However, we have recently learned of Caroline’s success in being put forward as one of the top 20 young people in the world. Over 209 individuals had been recognised for their work in their respective countries and only 20 have been selected to compete in the final stage of judging.

Voting is now open for a week and the result of the public vote and panel decision will secure a place in the top ten of this highly competitive international competition and if successful Caroline will head to Amsterdam to receive her accolade alongside other international young people.

Caroline says: ‘to achieve any kind of recognition at a UK level was both astounding and wonderful. I have applied a business model to creating a successful life saving suicide prevention enterprise. Having an opportunity and a platform to communicate about this work means, in spite of any recognition for me, that suicide is something we can talk about. Giving me the opportunity to talk on an International platform about something so vital to my life is more than I could ever ask for and I only hope that I can make it to Amsterdam for those reasons alone.’

We hope that the UK will get behind Caroline in taking her suicide prevention message of hope and recovery into an international platform.

Voting is open now. Support Caroline. Follow the link, https://toyp.jci.cc, scroll to her profile and then click ‘like’. 

Thank you for helping us to join the international conversation on suicide prevention and for supporting Caroline in recognition of her Humanitarian Leadership.

Have you emailed The Tomorrow Project and not received a reply? We’re sorry – We have been having technical issues!

It has come to our attention that emails sent to tomorrow@harmless.org.uk have not been reaching us. Unfortunately, this was due to a  technical issue with the email address that have now been rectified.

We would like to apologise to anyone who has tried to make contact but have not received a reply!

If you have emailed us and not received a response, please email again.

All our other accounts are working fine and have not experience any issues. 

The Tomorrow Project is a confidential, suicide support service offering support to those in suicide crisis and those bereaved and affected by suicide.

If you require crisis or bereavement support, please use the details blow:

 

For crisis support –

crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk

0115 934 8447 – please note this number is not a 24hr help line and a project worker will respond within 1 working day

 

For bereavement support -

bereavement@tomorrowproject.org.uk

0115 934 8445

Could you help with the development of our new app?

Are you someone who has experience of self-harm. Over the next week we need volunteers to test a self-help app that we are developing. We want to know whether it is easy to use and what recommendations you would make for changes?

If you would like to volunteer a short amount of time to have a look at the app and fill in a quick survey about how it works and usability, then please let us know and we will be in touch within the week.

Your support will enable us to make this a reality and help us to reach more people.

Please contact us by emailing info@harmless.org.uk.

#WSPD Prevention Pathways: FREE Suicide prevention workshops

Join us Friday 8th September for ‘The Story so far…’

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A PLACE 

At this event there will be free training workshops and you 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.

Venue
Sir Colin Campbell Building
Wollaton Road
Nottingham
NG8 1BB

Programme

08:30 Registration 
9:00 Welcome 
9:30 The story so far…
10:15 Break 
10:30 Workshop 1
12:00 Lunch 
13:00 Workshop 2
14:30 Break
14:45 Living experience 
15:30 Panel
15:45 Finish 

Lunch & Refreshments provided 

Workshop 1: An Introduction to Suicide crisis intervention
This workshop will establish basic principles around Suicide crisis intervention considering the following areas:
  • Myths & facts about suicide 
  • The impact our attitudes have on a suicide crisis intervention 
  • How to support someone effectively who is in crisis 
  • How to signpost effectively 
Workshop 2: 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
  • Reviewing & revisiting risk 

How to access the Tomorrow Project’s Suicide Crisis Service

It can often be scary for people to come into a suicide crisis service. Here are some frequently asked questions that service users coming in for the first time have asked us – we hope this helps when you’re deciding to call us!

I want to use your service but I don’t know how to get in contact – who do I message?

We have a few different ways you can access the service. We have our phone line (operated in office hours) on 0115 934 8447. If you don’t want to call up, you can also send us an email at crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk saying you need some support.

Please note, these platforms are not monitored 24 hours. Our staff are usually in the office from 9:30-5pm, Monday to Friday – emails and phone calls are not monitored outside of these hours.

 

What age range do you see at The Tomorrow Project?

We have no restrictions around age – anyone of any age can ask for support.

 

Where do you help people?

We are based in Nottinghamshire. We currently cover both Nottingham city and the county – if it’s difficult for you to get into our offices in East Leake or Nottingham, we can try and make arrangements to meet you somewhere you are comfortable.

 

I called/sent an email… what next?

When someone contacts us, we aim to respond to any messages/emails within 24 hours (or 1 working day). When you call us, you will go through to our voice message which will ask you to leave your name and a number we can contact you on. When you email us, you will get an autoresponder saying we will get back to you within 24 hours.

When we call you back, we’ll ask you if it’s a convenient time and if you have 15-20 minutes to talk. We’ll have a really informal conversation about how you feel, what you need, and how we can help fulfil that. Usually we will try and arrange an appointment for you to come into our service, or if more convenient for you, for one of our staff to come and meet you somewhere you are more comfortable (e.g. a pub, a café).

 

What happens at my first appointment?

When someone first starts accessing The Tomorrow Project, we do an assessment. This takes up to about an hour and a half. The assessment has a few different parts to it. We gather some basic information like full name, address, next of kin (if we’ve not already got it), and who else may be involved in your mental health care (including GP). We then go through some measurements with you, called the BDI-21, PHQ-9, and GAD-7. These only take about 10-15 minutes in total. The rest of the assessment is more conversational, and we try to make it as informal as possible so you feel listened to.

You can stop the assessment at any time if you feel uncomfortable or like it’s too much. We can do it over 2 appointments, or come back to it when you feel ready.

 

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

Usually you won’t need to bring anything with you – just yourself!

 

Can I bring someone with me?

Absolutely, you can bring a friend or family member with you if you like. We would ask that they wait in our communal therapeutic room while we do an assessment, but if it’s a case that you would like them in the room for support, you can ask them to stay.

 

I have just had my assessment… what happens now?

Our staff will usually ask you if you’d like to arrange another appointment. In the assessment, usually we will collaboratively identify some needs that you have that may be contributing to you feeling suicidal. Often, but not always, examples of this can be things like trouble with housing, finances, school/university assignments, or work. As project workers, our staff can help you with these things, even if it’s pointing you in the right direction of more services that can help.

We’ll often do what’s called a Safety Plan with you, either in the assessment or soon afterwards. This is a living document which we work on together, adding to or taking away from it over time. We look at things that make you feel safe, secure and hopeful – as well as things that you find difficult, scary or unpleasant. This Safety Plan includes things like places that make you feel safe, hopes for the future, as well as things that make you feel worse or at risk of hurting yourself.

 

At the heart of our service is a real sense of hope that things can get better. Our job is to help you through difficulties you’re having, even if it’s just to give you somewhere safe to come and have a coffee and a chat with our friendly staff. It’s really important to us that we keep our service users at the centre of what we do – with that said, we really appreciate feedback and comments about the service to continually help us improve.

These questions are just a few of the many we hear from people in the service and are not exhaustive. If your question is not answered above, please do feel free to get in contact with us on crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk, or call 0115 934 8447 and leave a message).

In the News: We need to talk about graduate depression

One in four undergraduates experience mental health issues during their studies according to YouGov, but there is little said of the awful feeling post-graduation that leaves students feeling anxious, upset and confused.

This silent problem is taking over the lives of recent graduates, and while conversations around mental health in general have been getting louder, this is an area that is still relatively quiet.

Finishing university is supposed to be a special moment when your life can finally start. Watch out world, here you come, all bright eyed and bushy tailed – but sadly, this isn’t always the case.

After years of being in full-time education, it is now time to start fiercely competing with others in the same situation as you for that much talked about dream job.

Leaving university is a shock to the system.

It’s no longer about making sure you’ve done the extra reading and taking part in seminars, but about being expected to land a job, have a plan and start saving for things like a mortgage.

And when we take a step back and realise that we are leaving a way of life we’ve been in since we were 3-years-old, it is easy to see why graduates are feeling this way.

Education is a well-structured system, and the loss of this leaves many graduates feeling as though they are drifting, often too afraid to commit to one solid career field, fearing that it may be the wrong one.

Those on the hunt for jobs are placed in an impossible situation; they are either under qualified for a role relevant to their studies, or find themselves over qualified for a temporary job to get them by.

Studying for a degree brings its own stresses, and students should not be disheartened or discouraged by anyone who devalues what they are doing; it should be acknowledged that help is within reach if the post-university prospects do not exceed or live up to expectations that students may have for their futures.

In the few months, or weeks in some cases, between exam period to graduation date, and graduation ceremony to ‘real world’, a lot is expected to change in a short period of time, and the transition is not always an easy one. There needs to be more focus from the authorities on the transition from university to employment.

The BACP gives the following advice for anyone who is concerned they are experiencing post-university depression. Primarily, ‘it’s good to talk’, so the first step is to open up to friends, colleagues, family members or a partner. By telling someone how the movement from university to real world is making you feel, often a positive result can be reached.

If this does not help, then you are advised to seek professional help. In a safe, confidential place, anyone suffering from post-university depression can talk with their GP.

Full link to articles: http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/17/why-is-no-one-talking-about-post-graduate-depression-6760769/

http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/health/graduate-blues-why-we-need-to-talk-about-post-university-depression-8729522.html

International Day of Forgiveness

AUGUST 7TH 2017

With today being the International Day of Forgiveness, we decided to take a look and see what effect forgiveness has on our mental health.

What exactly is forgiveness?
It is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Forgiveness brings the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger. While there is some debate over whether true forgiveness requires positive feelings toward the offender, experts agree that it at least involves letting go of deeply held negative feelings. In that way, it empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you, enabling you to heal and move on with your life.

What are the health benefits of forgiveness?
Medical researchers have become interested in studying the effects of forgiveness as a healing process. Evidence is mounting that holding onto painful memories and bitterness results in long-term health problems. Forgiveness, on the other hand, offers numerous benefits, including:

- Lower blood pressure

- Reduced stress

- Better anger management skills

- Lowered levels of anxiety

- Healthier relationships

- Greater emotional health and wellbeing

- Improved creativity

Researchers looked at the effects of lifetime stress on a person’s mental health, and how more forgiving people fared compared to people who weren’t so forgiving. To do this, they asked 148 young adults to fill out questionnaires that assessed their levels of lifetime stress, their tendency to forgive and their mental and physical health.

No surprise, people with greater exposure to stress over their lifetimes had worse mental and physical health. But the researchers also discovered that if people were highly forgiving of both themselves and others, that characteristic alone virtually eliminated the connection between stress and mental illness.

National Friendship day

August 6th is National Friendship day and I wanted to share with you the important role friendship can play on our mental health.

Recently a friend sent me an article titled: “To the friends who loved me unconditionally when I hit rock bottom”, and it made me consider the powerful and often unappreciated role friendships play in our lives.

“Thank you for all the times that you showed me warmth, the random hugs that you graced me with because you knew something was up even if I didn’t tell you anything”.

For me, this particular line really resonated, it shows the real importance of true friendships and the fact that sometimes they ‘just know’. Friends love you unconditionally, even at times when you don’t love yourself. They reassure us that life does get better, there is hope and they will always be by our side to remind us. I for one am truly grateful for my friend and was really touched when I was sent this article.

The article also made me think about how many people don’t feel able to talk to someone, the devastating effect this would have and what we can do to change it.

In the UK in 2015 there were 6,188 suicides. These statistics make suicide the leading cause of death in young people in the UK and also shows those over 45 are at greatest risk. With the rate of suicides at 6,188, that’s 6,188 more deaths than there should have been. Ultimately this shows us the need for support, alongside the need to challenge stigma around mental health and that starts with friends.

Let friend’s know its okay to talk…you’re there for them to listenwithout judgment.

Being open around mental health challenges stigma in a positive light and may be all a friend needs to be comfortable in asking for our help.

When someone is struggling with their mental health they may become distant, cancel plans and want to see us less than usual. However, this is when friendships play a key role and is exactly when maintaining friendships are so important.

The mental health foundation says: If you’re the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them. The most important thing is to tell them that you’re still their friend. If your friend is comfortable with being touched, a hug shows that you care about them and that you accept them whatever problems they are having.

“My friend asked me questions, didn’t just assume things, she really wanted to know.”

Take cues from your friend. Are they comfortable with questions or would they rather talk about something else? Don’t promise things you may not be able to deliver. How can you help them best?

If you’re the friend, the most valuable support you can provide is just being there to talk and listen. People really appreciate that their friends have made time to contact them, visit them and invite them round.

These are five steps that research shows can help people with mental health problems:

■            Assess risk of suicide or self-harm

■            Listen non-judgmentally

■            Give reassurance and information

■            Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

■            Encourage self-help strategies.

“Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health”.

As Sunday 6th is August is national friendship day, why not combine the day with self-care Sunday. Take part in some self-care with your friend and let them know how much you value them and appreciate their friendship.

Did someone say national chocolate chip cookie day?

4th August marks National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and a day we are certainly in favour for.

We decided to take a further look into this and found that baking is often associated with home comforts. Not only do we enjoy the process, it’s also a means of escape as we are just focussing on the activity at hand. Baking acts as a form of mindfulness, giving the mind breathing space and really does focus on self-care. This is without even mentioning eating all the delicious baked goods! What we also wanted to consider was the deeper, therapeutic effect baking has on our mental health, heres what we found…

Previous winner of The Great British Bake Off, John Whaite says: “Baking helps lift my depression. It can’t cure it but it helps.” John was diagnosed with depression twelve years ago and explains that baking is a way to turn negative energy into something constructive. He found it an effective way to manage his condition.

“When I’m in the kitchen, measuring the amount of sugar, flour or butter I need for a recipe or cracking the exact number of eggs – I am in control. That’s really important as a key element of my condition is a feeling of no control.”
We often bake for people as an expression of love, whether to cheer them up, celebrate an occasion or ‘just because’ and because of this ‘baking’ takes on a more important meaning than just creating something tasty to eat – it becomes a means of communicating.

At Harmless we love to bake! And we often do bake sales to support our life saving work. If you fancy coming on board and holding a bake sale we have a wonderful fundraising pack to support you.

All you need to do is send us an email to info@harmless.org.uk