Darren McCarthy, Clinical Risk and Patient Safety Advisor, explains what we are doing at SHSC to prevent suicide and improve support for service users, families and staff.
Suicide prevention is a key priority both nationally, locally and at SHSC. In England and Wales there are an average of 18 suicides per day, with suicide being the single biggest cause of death for men under the age of 45 in the UK.
At SHSC we follow the national and local suicide strategies to inform the training we deliver to our staff. This allows us to keep up to date with new literature, research, and evidence, but also locally allows us to target resources within Sheffield tailored to the demographic needs of Sheffield.
The SHSC staff training is a full day training covering information such as high-risk groups, robust risk assessments, safety planning formulation and postvention support for those bereaved by suicide. We also focus on the wellbeing of our staff, and promote self-care within the training, recognising the challenges we face in our work and personal lives, and how this can influence our own mental health. There is also a wealth of training and information resources available on Jarvis, and through our partners such as Sheffield Flourish, AMPARO and SACHMA.
SHSC is also part of the wider suicide conversations and forums, with information shared across the country about initiatives and improvements within suicide prevention. In South Yorkshire we are part of the ‘Real-time Surveillance Network’, which shares information about suspected suicides from across South Yorkshire, enabling speedy support to those bereaved by suicide. We work with our partners in Sheffield to share information and provide safe spaces for people to talk about their feelings related to suicide and raise awareness with our partners around suicide prevention and help that can be accessed.
Our key aim is around getting the conversation started - talking about suicide, reducing risks and helping to empower people to collaboratively build, own and manage their own safety plans.