Preventing suicide - information for professionals

Don’t be afraid to ask someone directly if they are thinking of taking their own life. Research has emphasised that asking the question and listening with compassion is helpful. It does not imply encouragement.

For help and support on suicide prevention in your area see these resources and downloads.

Six steps to supporting someone to safety:

1. Do they have a safety plan?
2. Do they have access to medication, firearms? Sit with them if possible.
3. Let them know there is hope, they are not alone. There are lots of people and support services out there that will help them to get through this.
4. Help them to consider what’s good in their life – the people and things in their life that are meaningful to them.
5. Encourage them to talk about their passions or what makes them happy. Chatting about their favourite music or film, hobbies and interests may help change their mindset.
6. Above all – Listen!

Support information

Samaritans Norwich – 01603 611311
Samaritans Kings Lynn - 01553 761616
Samaritans Gt Yarmouth - 08457 909090
Samaritans National – 116123 (24hrs, 365 days)
Wellbeing - Service in Norfolk which offers mental health support
Keeping Safe leaflet
Safety Plan

Information and resources

  • Norfolk training framework – Developed to guide organisations to ensure their employees and volunteers are sufficiently trained to the right standard for their role
  • Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind - For skills training around suicide prevention
  • Free online suicide prevention training - Developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance this aims to; enable people to identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts/behaviour, to be able to speak out in a supportive manner, and to empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support.

  • Educational Psychology and Specialist Support - Support for children, young people and those who support them, including training and procedures for preparing for a critical incident such as suicide, as well as comprehensive support afterwards.
  • What to do if you believe a child or young person might be at risk of suicide? - Norfolk guidance for professionals working with children and young people
  • Step by Step is a Samaritans service that provides advice and practical guidance to help schools prepare for, and deal with, the repercussions of suicide or attempted suicide in ways which avoid inadvertently promoting suicidal feelings.
  • DEAL (Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening) is a free teaching resource developed by Samaritans aimed at students aged approximately 14+ and inclusive of all abilities and learning styles.

Public Health England (PHE), Business in the Community and Samaritans have joined forces to produce toolkits for employers:

Samaritans Managing Suicidal Contacts is a one day training course delivered to rail staff as part of their partnership with Network Rail.

MIND’s Blue Light Programme provides mental health support for emergency services staff and volunteers from ambulance, fire, police and search and rescue services across England and Wales.

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