Connecting with People (4 Mental Health Ltd)

4 Mental Health is the organisation behind the Connecting with People training programs and free self-help resources. These programs are designed to meet the differing mental health training needs across a broad spectrum of sectors: health and social care; statutory bodies; further and higher education; workplaces and the wider community.

Our flexible, ‘bite size’ modular training is informed by evidence-based principles, lived experience and current best practice. The modules cover a wide breadth of subjects from emotional resilience and compassion at work, through to suicide and self-harm mitigation modules with assessment and safety planning frameworks for health and social care professionals.

We are proud of our international reputation for delivery of high-quality training and delighted that our approach has been adopted by numerous organisations and sectors, both in the UK and overseas. Additionally, our approach has been recognised by gaining several awards in the UK and Australia.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Our free resources and the Connecting with People training aim to make suicide awareness and the knowledge around what can help with regard to suicide prevention, accessible to all. We offer a whole-organisational approach to improve the response shown to people in distress. Our training and resources are peer-reviewed by our Expert Reference Group of international experts in self-harm and suicide prevention, people with lived experience, practitioners and third sector (NGO) experts.
To deliver our training we use facilitation, lecture-style presentation, open discussion and group-work to remove unconscious barriers, improve compassion, knowledge and confidence to identify and respond to people who are struggling or in emotional distress
Our Suicide Mitigation Modules aim to reduce stigma, increase understanding and promote a consistent approach to improve the understanding and communication across and between sectors. We also encourage a diligent collaborative assessment resulting in a personalised risk mitigation plan and a co-produced Safety Plan. Our clinical assessment and safety planning framework, SAFETool, is designed to be used alongside existing clinical approaches or documentation. Connecting with People training has compassion and collaboration at its core.

The Connecting with People training was developed to:
– provide a simple and consistent approach that can be applied across statutory care, third sector, community, service users and carers
– respond to low take-up of suicide prevention training by providing a range of training options including face to face, screen to screen small groups and larger web training conferences, as well as our new online modules. A ‘Train the Trainer’ programme also allows for bite sized in-house sessions to fit within protected CPD time or into shift patterns and delivered on site.

What are your current priorities?

We will continue to work closely with our collaborators and organisations who deliver the Connecting with People training, to ensure that emotional wellbeing, suicide and self-harm prevention is given the highest priority and that practice is based on compassion, as well as latest thinking and best practice.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Recent months have been extremely challenging for everyone and some people have been particularly affected. We are especially grateful to the members of our Expert Reference Group and trainers for their continued support, as we have developed new modules and delivery modalities to help meet current challenges. By harnessing technology, we also co-produced and developed two free self-help websites, and to ensure they are accessible to all who would benefit.

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