JILL MORTIMER: Highlighting the support for those with ‘suicidal ideology’

I met recently with Sara, an inspirational lady who sadly lost her son Adam to suicide three years ago.

"There is help out there, often in places where you don’t expect it."
"There is help out there, often in places where you don’t expect it."

Sara is working tirelessly to raise awareness about the impacts of mental illness.

She is also an advocate for all the support groups and charities which are already offering help to those suffering with their mental health, as well as families who suffer a bereavement as a consequence of mental illness.

I wanted to use my column this week to support her efforts.

There are a number of charities, groups and projects which do great work and support those with suicidal ideology.

F or example the Headlight Project which delivers emotional resilience workshops, counselling and has a particular focus in supporting those who have been affected by suicide.

There are also charities which focus on supporting specific groups – for example PAPYRUS which is dedicated to the prevention of suicide in young people, and Andy’s Man Club, a talking group for men who may be struggling with their mental health.

There is help out there, often in places where you don’t expect it.

Sara told me of the grief counselling she received via Alice House Hospice and how this has helped her gain the strength to speak out about suicide prevention and the need for even further support.

In our meeting we discussed the provision of emergency assistance for those in crisis – Sara told me about pilot schemes to this end, delivered via the NHS with paramedic triage cars attending to those who feel they are in danger of acting on suicidal thoughts.

Since the meeting I have contacted Julie Gillon, Chief Executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, to inquire about whether this is something we could see delivered across the Tees Valley – this is being looked at by the Chief Executive for Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust.

I am also aware that Cleveland Police provide a similar service and I am meeting with Steve Turner, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, to discuss how the service is delivered and its effectiveness in providing that emergency assistance to our most vulnerable residents.