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 – Some mental health services are telling patients: ‘If you really wanted to kill yourself, you would have done it’

People are encouraged to seek help if they are feeling suicidal like never before. Yet a deadly new mix of funding cuts and dangerous ideas about suicide are leaving many people with long-term conditions at greater risk.

Tom is 22 and has made a couple of serious attempts on his life following prolonged periods of depression. “When I regained consciousness after the last attempt”, he said, “I was told ‘If you really want to kill yourself, you would have done it’.” Tom, like many other people, feels like when he now contacts the crisis team, they treat him brusquely. “It is like they will only take me seriously if I actually die”, he continued. “I am told again and again ‘well if you really want to kill yourself, that’s your choice’.”

We are not talking about nuanced Schopenhauerian conversations about the right to die here. In the context of deep despair, the idea of choice is a deadly one, absolving the other party from doing everything they can to help the person in pain. If one is suicidal it is very difficult to feel any hope that things might change; one is often exhausted. It is crucial that hope is held actively by mental health professionals at these bleakest moments in a life.

To read the full article, please visit: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/mental-health-nhs-suicide-crisis-untrained-staff-high-risk-underfunding-a8110186.html 

Being Ourselves

We are all unique, different and special, in Children’s Mental Health week 5 – 11 February 2018 we are encouraged to celebrate our uniqueness. Some children and young people may find it difficult to think positively about themselves. We can encourage them to celebrate their unique qualities and strengths.

By encouraging children to develop a positive view of themselves we can help them overcome many difficulties. We can encourage them to feel more connected to the people in their lives which can help children and young people to cope with life’s challenges.

We all need a bit of help sometimes; it can be difficult to know who you can ask for help:

  • Family member,
  • A trusted friend,
  • Harmless and Tomorrow Project
  • A professional

It is best to decide who you can talk to, I understand you may not like asking for help, you may feel that you don’t want to burden other people, you might even worry about how they might respond to you, it is important to remember people who care about you will want to help you.

It is important to show respect and kindness to everyone around us, even if they are different because we all have different skills, abilities and interests.

Why not contact us for support and information by emailing info@harmless.org.uk.

The Old, the Good and the New

2017 has been a busy year for the training operating arm of Harmless. It has also been a year for great change.

I would like to start the new year by thanking all of those who we have worked with over the past year. In particular I would like to thank Nottingham City Council for the amazing partnership we had in providing the citizens of Nottingham with FREE training in line with the Mental health Crisis Care Concordat.

I would also like to thank Martyn Swaby & Naomi Watkins for their support, helping to make training sessions fuller and more accessible by providing suitable venues for us to deliver training in throughout the year.

We have also started a new partnership with Kirklees City Council delivering Mental Health First Aid courses which will continue this year.

Having worked as a Specialist Trainer, it was earlier this year that the torch was passed on and I took on the role as Training Team Leader, with our dear Sophie Allen departing to pastures new. Further to this, we also excitingly welcomed Claire fully into the Harmless family as she became our full time Specialist Trainer. As well as Claire we have also welcomed into the fold, Val, Caron, Kayleigh and Wendy all amazingly talented trainers.

However, this was not to be the only change for Let’s Talk Training. As many of you will now be aware Harmless has moved to its own building. This provided many new opportunities for us including some extra space for training sessions as well as our own office to spread into.

Some of my personal favourite moments last year included celebrating Harmless’ 10-year anniversary, getting to meet Professor Rory O’Connor at our annual conference and continuing to meet so many amazing people.

Lots of people I speak with always tell me they don’t know how I could be a Trainer because it’s scary and you have to know everything but my most favourite thing about being a Trainer isn’t the facilitating it’s getting the opportunity to meet so many hard working and inspiring individuals who want to save lives and make a difference.

In 2017, we delivered approximately 80 courses that’s over 5,000 people trained. As a result, our training reached over 30,000 individuals. To see these stats inspires hope and I know we can only continue to grow and build on these successes.

With 2018 already begun I am eager to get stuck in and see what another year brings. I shall leave you with a small taste for some of the exciting things we have install so far this year….

7th&8th February Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)- Lincoln

1st March From Harm to Hope, Self harm Conference- Nottingham

20th March Level 2 Self harm and working with Self harm- Nottingham

10th & 11th April Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training – Nottingham

To book places or for more details please visit Eventbrite (search term Harmless), call us on 0115 880 0281 or email us on training@harmless.org.uk

 

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. 

Would you like to work for Harmless as part of our clinical team?

We are currently recruiting for a Specialist Therapist to join the Harmless team. The deadline for applications is Monday 27th November 2017 at 12pm, with interviews to take place in the week commencing 4th December 2017.

To download the job description, please click here.

To download an application form, please click here.

JOB TITLE: Specialist Therapist

HOURS: Up to 37.5 hours per week

SALARY: £23,250 per annum

START DATE: 8th January 2018

This position has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Harmless are pleased to offer an exciting opportunity to join our passionate team and help us save lives.  We are looking for a dynamic individual, who is willing to develop their skills; work outside the box and challenge themselves in order to do whatever is required to help people attain recovery.

This role is particularly well suited to a therapist early in their career looking for a long term opportunity to develop as a specialist therapist.

Application Deadline: 27th November 2017 at 12pm.

Interviews will be held in Nottingham w/c 4th December 2017.

Please send your completed application form by the deadline to info@harmless.org.uk.

If you have any questions regarding the role or the application process, please contact us by calling 0115 880 0280 or email info@harmless.org.uk.

Children’s grief awareness week

This week has been Children’s grief awareness week, which runs from 16th to 22nd November

It is estimated that 1 in 29 children and young people in school have been bereaved by a parent of sibling. The Childhood Bereavement Network estimates that over 100 children are bereaved of a mum or dad each day.

We understand that bereavement by suicide is unlike any other type of bereavement, and we do not want anyone to feel alone or like there is no one to turn to for help.

The Tomorrow Project offer support to those that may be in suicide crisis and those that have been bereaved and affected by suicide. No matter what age, we can help

The Tomorrow Project will be here, for those bereaved and affected by suicide, when and as you need us.

#yourenotalone

bereavement@tomorrowproject.org.uk

0115 880 0280

 

 

 

Save a life this Christmas!

Please support our Christmas Appeal. if you were thinking of donating instead of sending cards, or you’d like to do something good for someone instead of buying a gift – then please think of us.

Each year we receive more and more requests for help and hear increasingly tragic stories of loss, yet we still have no statutory funding for our work.

For us to even think about delivering the same level of support in 2018 we are going to need your help.

Please share our appeal far and wide. However little or much you can afford, every penny will help. Please visit the following link if you would like to make a donation:

https://localgiving.org/appeal/savealife/?preview=1267

In the news: The rise of mental health in hip-hop lyrics

Hip-hop is having a watershed moment for mental health. In the last two years, some of the biggest rappers have peeled back the curtain on their personal lives to shine a light on their struggles with mental health issues.

Take Kanye West’s album “The Life of Pablo”, where he mentions both seeing a psychiatrist and taking Lexapro, an antidepressant used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Or Kid Cudi, who publicly announced he’d checked into rehab for depression and suicidal urges, writing that “anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it.” Even rap veteran Jay-Z has advocated the importance of therapy in recent months.

In the midst of hip-hop’s dive into mental health awareness, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many mainstream artists have also opened up about practicing meditation. Big Sean, Vic Mensa, Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, J. Cole, and Drake, to name a few, have credited meditation as impacting areas of their lives and creative output. And, of course, Def Jam Recordings label founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons attribute much of their success to meditation.

“[T]he person I am was shaped by the experience of the years of meditation,” says Rubin, who produced albums for everyone from Beastie Boys to Kanye. “I feel like I can see deeply into things in a way that many of the people around me don’t, or can’t.”

“Meditation is a guaranteed way to not only dip into, but stay connected with, your creative spirit,” echoes Simmons. “People have this misconception that meditation will chill you out and make you soft, but the opposite is true. I meditate every morning when I wake up and almost the second my session is over I’m eager to tackle whatever is on my plate for that day.”

But perhaps the rap game’s biggest meditation advocate is one that currently holds the title as Greatest Rapper Alive: Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick has plugged meditation on four (!) of his tracks. Take these lyrics from “untitled 03 | 05.28.2013”:

Meditation is a must, it don’t hurt if you try
See you thinking too much, plus you too full of yourself
Worried about your career, you ever think of your health?

In a 2016 interview for GQ Style, Kendrick elaborates on his meditation routine:

“I have to have at least 30 minutes to myself,” he says. “If it’s not on the daily, every other day, to just sit back, close my eyes, and absorb what’s going on. You know, the space that I’m in [and] how I’m feeling at the moment.”

Kendrick cites the frenetic busyness of his career as a motivator to practice being more present. “When you in music—and everybody knows this—the years are always cut in half, because you always have something to do,” he says. “It just goes and then you miss out on your moment because you’re so in the moment you didn’t know the moment was going on.”

After realizing that music was consuming his thoughts and attention, Kendrick turned to meditation for time and space away from his work: “That 30 minutes helps me to totally zone out and not think about my next lyric. You know? It gives me a re-start, a jump start, a refresh. It lets me know why I’m here, doing what I’m doing.”

Competition is ingrained in hip-hop’s DNA; there’s tremendous pressure to claim the “best rapper alive” throne by breaking the mold on verbal gymnastics, pushing artistic boundaries, and resonating with audiences through culture and emotion. Slap on deadlines from record labels, plus scrutiny and sensationalism from the public eye—it’s a paralyzing weight for anyone to endure.

“There’s a great deal of bullshit that people think about when they make music, things that don’t matter,” Rubin says. “[Meditation] kind of wipes that away, and you focus on the real job at hand, as opposed to thinking about what the management wants, or what the record company’s saying, or what somebody at a radio station might think.”

While the dusty notion that hip-hop is all about cars, money, and clothes may still ring true for certain acts, there’s no denying that the genre has evolved. By unmasking both the stigmas attached to mental health issues and stereotypes about meditation, the rap game is well set up for a healthier and happier road ahead—for artists and fans alike.

Link to full blog here: https://www.headspace.com/blog/2017/10/13/mental-health-hip-hop/

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