Community Links are a regional provider of mental health services. The organisation exists to provide excellent client based mental health services that value diversity, instil hope and improve quality of life through recovery. Community Links has a successful training team who are a leading provider of mental health and suicide prevention throughout Yorkshire and Humber. Our team provides Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and safeTALK suicide awareness and training across the region.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Community Links are committed to reducing risk of suicide in high risk groups. The organisation offers programmes of suicide awareness training (safeTALK) and suicide prevention training (ASIST) targeted at those working with high risk groups e.g. working age men or those living in areas associated with higher rates of suicide.
As part of the training programmes that we offer, we provide information on services available to support those at risk of suicide and also to those bereaved by suicide.
On a local level, Community Links attend Suicide Prevention Strategy meetings, and our programme of training delivery forms part of the local suicide prevention plan. We evaluate the training that we provide in order to inform future delivery. We are committed to working in partnership with other organisations to make things happen locally.
What are your current priorities?
We have secured funding to be able to train a further 100 individuals in suicide awareness locally. The aim of this training is to increase awareness of suicide within local communities and provide individuals with the information necessary to respond to an individual at risk of suicide and direct them towards support. And we are in the process of gathering information in order to be able to evaluate the suicide awareness and prevention training that we offer. This will capture the impact of the training and whether individuals who have accessed our training programmes have needed to put into practice the skills that they have learnt, therefore contributing to a reduction in suicide.
What challenges are you currently facing?
The main challenge to achieving our outcomes is financial. Organisations wishing to access suicide awareness and prevention training are often receiving cuts in their training budgets meaning that they are not in a position to invest in training.