Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

CGL's Spectrum service in Hertfordshire provides in-house suicide prevention training

CGL's Spectrum service in Hertfordshire provides in-house suicide prevention training

25 July 2017

Spectrum Drug & Alcohol Recovery Services remain highly committed in providing in-house training on the prevention of suicide to its members of staff, students, volunteers and peer mentors. We share Hertfordshire’s Suicide Prevention Strategy in that our vision is to make Hertfordshire a county where no one ever gets to a point where they feel suicide is their only option.

Our first in-house training programme on prevention of suicide took place in October 2015 with input from Anna Marie Felice, Nurse Clinical Lead, Dr Adam Huxley, Consultant Psychologist, Dr Gideon Felton, Consultant Psychiatrist and members of staff from the governance team. The main agenda focused on risk factors of suicide, assessment of someone at risk of suicide and lessons learnt form death incidents.

anna and monikaThe training programme has continued to develop under the partnership of Anna Marie Felice and Monika Gos, Clinical Psychologist. The programme now draws from recent data from Hertfordshire Suicide Audit of 2015/16, identification of risk and protective factors, role pay and discussion.  Monika and Anna Marie make a point that every client of our service is at risk of suicide unless informed otherwise.  Service users want to be listened to and often need our skilled intervention to help them articulate their feelings, often troubled by events of their past. Talking about suicide does not increase the risk of suicide. Drawing from the training delivered by Spot the Signs Suicide Prevention Training (Mind in Hertfordshire), there is a simple formula to adopt in our work with service users: Ask, Listen and Refer. Roleplay helps participants practice skills of asking questions, reflecting, listening and knowing when to seek help. Monika and Anna Marie want participants to feel that they are not working in isolation and emphasise the importance of seeking support from senior members of staff in order to help when referring on to Mental Health or Emergency Services.

Twenty members of staff participated at the recent training event  on July 12th. The feedback from participants was very positive. One participant commented “I was very interested in the statistics; I am now more aware of groups at risk of suicide; I need to safeguard myself as a worker and ensure I am asking the right questions” Another participant commented “Role play can be fun!”

Spectrum is very grateful to the Network Rail National Suicide Prevention Steering Group Learning Tool for making it possible to use their training video. Participants were shown the Signals Drama , a short 5 minute video with a powerful message of how a simple intervention by asking “Are you alright? Can I help you?” can help someone at risk of suicide reconsider their options.

Written by Anna Marie Felice - Lead Nurse at Spectrum, Hertfordshire