NHS Lothian offers additional training for Suicide Prevention

To mark the beginning of Suicide Prevention Week (7-12) NHS Lothian has announced additional training for health professionals at the forefront of helping those affected by issues relating to suicide.

As part of NHS Lothian’s commitment to reducing suicide, staff working in frontline mental health and wellbeing, substance misuse, primary care and accident and emergency services will be offered a range of dedicated training programmes in suicide prevention.

Around two people die from suicide in Scotland every day and it is the biggest killer of young Scottish men - yet suicide is still one of society's remaining taboos. This additional training aims to tackle this.

Charles Winstanley, Chair, NHS Lothian said:

“Every life lost to suicide is tragic and touches the lives of families and friends as well as local communities.
“We believe that suicide prevention should be everybody's business. So we are offering this training to enable more staff identify people at risk of suicide and offer them appropriate support and advice.”

Linda Irvine, Strategic Programme Manager, NHS Lothian, said:

“The message for suicide prevention week is “don’t hide it, talk about it”.
“Our new training programme provides staff with increased confidence in talking to a person with thoughts of suicide in a clear and helpful way. So I would urge anyone who is feeling suicidal to talk to a health professional they trust, such as their GP.”

The training programme draws on courses from the Choose Life Strategy, and on the skills and experiences of practitioners.

Seven training programmes in total will be offered, ranging from raising awareness, introduction to suicide awareness, applied suicide intervention skills training and Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid.

The training will be offered to all clinical, operational and strategic managers from primary care, acute, mental health and substance misuse services.

The training programme focuses on:

  • Raising awareness of high risk and vulnerable groups and the impact on families and communities
  • Improving the assessment and management of those at risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harming behaviours
  • Increased skills and competencies to assess and respond to people at risk of suicide.