This Mental Health Awareness Week (13th – 19th May) we’re placing a spotlight on the projects we are delivering within communities to help people gain confidence and skills, get into training and work, lead more active lives and overcome significant challenges such as poverty isolation, debt and money management, through to managing behaviour and poor health.
We’d like to share a story today from our amazing Hopeful Families Engagement Officer, Lisa.
This story was written personally by Lisa, and shares her experience of working within a close-knit community to provide support following the tragedy of a teenage suicide…
"It was news that shocked the community.
Wakefield district has suffered a number of teenage suicides over recent years but when a young man - who went to the same high school that I went to - took his own life, it prompted some very serious discussions with my children. I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject with them or whether they really understood what I was saying, and even if they did - was it having a positive effect?
When I received a call from Tracy Carrington at Kinsley, Fitzwilliam Learning and Community Centre asking if Hopeful Families project would be able to offer some support to the community in this difficult time, there was no question that we had to do something.
I had heard about ‘SafeTalk’ training provided by Andy Brammer of Wakefield Council, and it seemed a positive way forward.
The training consisted of a workshop guiding local people how to look out for signs that someone could potentially be thinking about suicide, how to directly to talk to that person, what avenues of help are available, and how to reach the individual who is struggling
As soon as we advertised the training it was fully subscribed within a matter of days. Local businesses provided refreshments and wide variety of participants from the local community turned up on the day such as students, parents & teachers. Our youngest members were 15 years old which was really encouraging. We have an ongoing waiting list for the next ‘SafeTalk’ training course.
Suicide is a very real issue within all communities nationally and the more we talk about it the more likely the signs won’t go unnoticed.
I am now personally looking into fulfilling the ‘Safe Talk’ training myself with Living Works then I can become accredited & run the workshops within local communities
If you are going through a difficult period or are worried about a friend, call The Samaritans on 116 123 and speak to someone for free.
Lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year."
The Hopeful Families programme offered in Wakefield aims to improve families situations and outlook long term, so they can take control of their own lives and overcome the challenges they face finding employment. At Groundwork we are working towards a future where every community is strong and able to shape its own destiny, and no-one is held back by their background or circumstances.