Grassroots Suicide Prevention

Grassroots Suicide Prevention is a charity based in Brighton, UK. Established in 2006, Grassroots provides mental health and suicide prevention training courses and expertise to both large and small organisations in England.

It delivers two of the major LivingWorks training packages (ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and safeTALK – Suicide Alertness For Everyone) as well as several other mental health courses the team has developed over time.

Grassroots’s experts sit on several local committees relevant to its aims and has also contributed to national strategy. The organisation is also engaged in activities to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention issues, both locally and beyond and is known for effective innovation.

Grassroots is working toward Brighton and Hove being designated as an internationally recognised suicide safer City.

How would you describe your organisation’s role in contributing to reducing suicide and improving support for those bereaved or affected by suicide?

We train workforce members working with high risk groups in safeTALK and ASIST and host Trainer for Trainer courses. We fundraise to provide training to community members. Grassroots provides free online resources for people at risk and has a large social media following offering resources, micro teaching and messages of hope. We produce hard copy resources for people at risk and people concerned about others.  We are about to launch a UK-wide suicide prevention app and a DVD suicide prevention resource for people with learning difficulties and their friends / carers. 

Grassroots works with our local SP Strategy Group on this area for action. We work with the media locally on safe reporting and train relevant agencies at hotspots on how to be suicide alert and how to help. We are looking at signage around hotspots.  

Grassroots is working with our SP Strategy Group and partners to develop and deliver resources for people bereaved and affected by suicide, and are considering multi-agency models on effective and timely support to pilot locally.     

Grassroots works with many different interested agencies to share good practice and work together to reduce suicide. We offer consultancy to organisations to help them to become suicide safer. We are working with LivingWorks Education (Canada) and TASC to develop a comprehensive framework for communities to become suicide safer.  

We are working to evaluate our social impact and are involved with research colleagues in related areas.   

What are the current challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Internally our challenges largely revolve around our human and financial capacity. Grassroots is a small organisation which raises funds through delivering training contracts and commissions as well as through consultancy and project based work. Some of our activities (raising awareness, stigma reduction, campaigning, providing information and resources) have no core funding but are essential to achieving our aims.  

Other challenges include more fully involving corporate sponsors and local businesses in suicide prevention, engaging hard to reach sectors of the community and working internationally re: our suicide safer community initiative.