We want to ensure everyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, no matter their background or situation, is empowered and able to access appropriate help and support. We also know that the loss of someone through suicided has a ripple effect on the family, friends, work colleagues and the wider community and often leaves people bereaved by suicide feeling stigmatised and isolated.
What we want to achieve
Support across Mid and South Essex
We want people of all ages all ages to be able to get the help and support they need quickly and easily, so that both their mental and physical health needs are treated early, through focusing on prevention and wellbeing, as well as providing appropriate support for people in crisis and effective inpatient care. In addition, we also want to reduce mental health stigma by supporting people to feel comfortable talking about mental health and encouraging communities to work together.
To make this possible, we’re listening to our communities, creating targeted mental health services, and collaborating with partners to inform our planning, to ensure initiatives are successful.
Wave 3 Suicide Prevention
Through the Long-Term Plan, NHS England and NHS Improvement NHS England and NHS Improvement is delivering the Suicide Prevention Programme in all areas of the Country. In 2020 Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership (MSEHCP) successfully bid for funding from the wave 3 Suicide Prevention programme. This programme forms part of the Government’s ambition to prevent suicide and reduce suicides by 10% nationally.
Our Suicide Prevention Programme is a three-year programme running from 2019/20 to 2022/23 which is led by MSE partners, for our residents, including:
- Health Commissioners & Providers,
- Local Authority,
- Voluntary sector partners
It focuses on reducing suicides across mid and south Essex through working on prevention in our communities, as well as:
- raising awareness and educating on suicide in communities, Empowering community members to acknowledge when they need help and HOW to get the help they need.
- help those at risk of or affected by suicide,
- reduce the stigma around suicide,
- create and promote opportunities within communities to help those at risk of and affected by suicide,
- signposting to services.
- improving resident health and wellbeing and supporting access to lifestyle services and activities to support a reduction in suicide.
It will also enable us to respond to emerging patterns in local suicide data, undertake regular programme impact reviews and disseminate useful learning across the wider suicide prevention network.
Working in partnership
NHS England and NHS Improvement requested that the programme should be focused on:
- Prevention beyond services, such as specialist and hospital care, into local community prevention work i.e., suicide prevention in middle-aged men, self-harm, support to GP and other community health and care services.
- Reduction within services via quality improvement: self-harm care incl. within acute hospitals; generally, within mental health services.
Where we are now
Suicide Prevention Training
#letstalkaboutsuicideessex is a suicide prevention campaign for Essex, Thurrock and Southend. Working with Thurrock & Brentwood Mind we’ve created a mid and south Essex Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) webpage, to ensure everyone who lives and works in mid & south Essex undertakes the suicide prevention training.
You can take the 20 minute training now by visiting the let’s talk about suicide webpage.
As part of the programme, we want to ensure we’re focusing on working with organisations that are supporting those at highest risk of suicide such as middle-aged men, across mid and south Essex. In year one (2020-21) we created a community fund to reach out to men in places they might meet and talk.
The fund focused on locally based programmes that improve men’s mental health.
We worked with Men’s Sheds, Southend MIND, Turning Corners Football Group, Thurrock and Brentwood MIND and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
In year two (2021/22) the community fund is being promoted and supported by a voluntary sector organisation and Community Voluntary Sector Network.
Grants have been awarded to seven voluntary sector organisations that deliver services in Southend, Essex and Thurrock. The organisations will be supporting:
- Asylum seekers, refugees and displaced communities
- Children and young people
- People who have experienced grief, trauma, addictions, social isolation, anxiety and depression
- Men’s mental health
- People bereaved by suicide
- People who self-harm
- People with suicidal ideation
The offer includes creative arts, trauma resolution therapies, family therapy, nature-based group therapy and suicide prevention outreach through a mobile unit.
Suicide Prevention training in Primary Care
As part of our programme to support those working in GP, community health and care services, and other resident support services, we’ve provided emotional resilience and suicide prevention training.
This includes training for primary care clinicians on how to use SAFETool™, a recording template supporting clinician decision making.
Firearm licensing training
Essex Police Firearms Licensing Department in partnership with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) are offering virtual Firearms Licensing training to mid and south Essex GPs and other community health and care providers. The training aims to increase awareness and understanding of how firearms licences are granted, reviewed and revoked in Essex and explain how we can work in partnership to safeguard and protect the community from harm.
Depression Diagnosis Pathway
We’ve co-produced the development of a pathway to support people who have been diagnosed with depression by their GP and either have been prescribed medication, referred to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), or both.
Initially a patient who has recently been diagnosed with depression by their GP, will receive a wellbeing call that will provide them with support during the time it takes for their medication to take effect. It also offers additional services if and when required.
Developing the adult Self-harm Management Toolkit
Partners across mid and south Essex have developed an Adult Self-harm Management Toolkit for people aged 17 and older. There will be different versions of the toolkit in development, including versions for health and care professionals, blue light services, members of the public including friends, families and work colleagues and those who self-harm. The purpose of the toolkit is to help to remove the stigma of self-harm, spot the signs of self-harm and how to respond to it.
The overall self-harm campaign will promote and encourage using the toolkit as well as reduce the stigma around talking about self-harm.
The adult toolkit was developed following the successful roll-out of the existing children’s self-harm management toolkit for educational settings across Southend, Essex, and Thurrock.
Please visit the Essex County Council website for the children’s version.