Future Path is a small organisation that supports unemployed people experiencing mental ill health to improve their lives, improve their well-being and find long-term employment. We are funded by a range of public sector bodies to identify people in mental distress, enable access to therapies, address their circumstances and move them into work.
We also deliver Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training within our sector and beyond, in the hope of de-stigmatising mental health and reducing the suicide rate.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We provide a person-centred support model, aimed at addressing the frustrations in people’s lives that are making them ill. This may include housing, debt, domestic violence, children out of school, an offending history – just about anything. All staff are Mental Health First Aiders and have a sideways brief to have conversations about suicidal thoughts, and to provide crisis support and access to counselling/other services.
What are your current priorities?
We will expand our services to reach a larger audience. Increase suicide prevention awareness among the unemployed, and the various bodies that support them, increase our partnership network to ensure that sufficient, relevant support is available to those facing life challenges and contemplating suicide.
Increasing conversations using the current plan, prior behaviour, and resources (CPR) structure, and particularly the R of resources. Ensure that all staff are investigating the means and resources for suicide where a concern is held.
Produce a dedicated resource concerning available help. Distribute it to all local partners and create a dedicated page on the company website, which our clients will be encouraged to visit.
We will continue to promote MHFA training to our sector, starting a campaign to get EVERY frontline adviser trained. We will also investigate Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trainer training, so that we can add that to our services.
We will work within the London Borough of Barnet, alongside Public Health, to create a suicide prevention group aimed at reducing suicide levels among unemployed residents. This will include supporting the 4 Jobcentres to develop their 6 point suicide plans.
We will introduce a suicide risk marker to our database systems, enabling us to share anonymised data with the local authority.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Funding is always an issue, especially for the delivery of Mental Health First Aid courses.
The unemployed face extreme stigma, and current welfare reforms are increasing poverty, and therefore suicide risk.