Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund
Community groups across Lancashire and South Cumbria have been provided funding to support projects aimed at preventing suicides.
Groups were encouraged to apply for the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund which offered between £500 and £5000 per project. The successful projects from phase 1 of the funding are now up and running, information can be found below about each of these.
Applications for the second phase of funding closed on 27th May and the successful projects will be announced soon.
Positive Cycles North West
Positive Cycles mens’ mental health and suicide awareness project.
We build Legacy Bikes, each one dedicated to somebody who has lost their life through suicide. Each bike has its own plaque telling the story behind the statistics. Each bike is purchased and displayed by a local company. The cost is £300 per bike which is the cost of 6 weeks of counselling or mentoring from our team.
Massive Mental Walk
The massive mental walk is run by mental health charity PH7 LIFE. We want to platform 84 men and women from the North West to walk 84 towns and villages because 84 men take their lives each week.
We want 84 people to come forward and be part of our walk, helping to raise money for free anxiety and depression courses for the general public. The 84 people will be given a free place on our walk, but they will also be able to access our group therapy services. Our groups start from April 29th and we have male and female groups. We are creating a community of peer support services to help each other through tough times, mental illness and help reduce the rates of suicide in the North West. Some of our 84 are also being platformed on our website, because they want to hold their hands up and say ‘I have struggled with my mental health, and it’s ok if you do too, we’re all here to support each other’. We also offer free mental health first aid training to our 84.
If you want to be one of our 84, please get in touch. You don’t have to walk all of the 84 towns and villages, just a day will do!
Let’s come together and support each other in the quest to help mental illness and reduce suicide.
A project with a slightly different starting point, beginning at the recovered end and working backward.
The aim is to work with multiple men who have at one time in their lives been close to or tried suicide and lived to tell their tale. We will look at their stories and focus on the following; why they are glad to be alive now, what changed, how it changed and words of advice for suicidal people. It is hoped that we will be able to build a tool kit set out in a story. We will create a film(s) and a beautiful book (hardback and softback) full of inspiration, stories, photo journals, change and learning from those with lived experience. These will then be distributed with a call to action for men who read the book to then participate in story work with me later in the year.
The idea is the stories of those recovered may help inspire those living with or on the seesaw of recovery to think differently and act differently. We hope for some to participate in both anonymous and open debates. This information and the stories collected will then be used to develop further products and tools in the future.
It's About Time
It’s about time project will engage with British born Muslim Pakistani and Indian young people. The project will provide a safe and friendly environment in which young people can speak about self-harm and suicide. The 12-month pilot project will work with up to 20 young people aged 13 to 25 from both genders.
The project has been developed to provide support, advice, guidance and information to a community that are historically difficult to engage with especially around issues of emotional wellbeing. The areas of suicide and self-harm are taboo subjects that have cultural and religious sensitivities and complexities. There is very little if any support network for young people from Asian heritage to seek support locally. The cultural and religious sensitivities and complexities mean that young people have only the internet to go to. This is not the best place to find support and advice for young people in crisis.
The project will be led by mentors who have both the cultural/religious understanding as they are from the same ethnic background. The professional mentors are experienced and have qualifications in counselling and mentoring as well as a youth work background. This will create a professional non-judgmental atmosphere in which the mentor’s role will be to listen, support, guide and advise. The weekly sessions will be both discussion groups and individual sessions allowing everyone the opportunity to contribute. An opportunity to record the sessions through creative mediums of music and photography will be available.
As part of the project, young people will present their work by hosting an exhibition, inviting local people and other key partners who have an interest in mental health and young people. The exhibition will present the photographic and audio collection compiled by the young people to the audience enabling them to see the visual photography and also listen to discussions around this very taboo subject. It will empower young people who will share their experiences with young people as youth health ambassadors.
Myplace is an exciting and innovative ecotherapy project delivered by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside in partnership with the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Myplace empowers young people, adults and communities to connect with local environments in order to learn new skills, build resilience and improve their physical health and mental wellbeing. Myplace is funded by the European Social Fund and 'Our Bright Future' through the National Lottery Community Fund.
Hope Project is designed to create a better understanding and awareness of the issues of suicide and self-harm. Giving people an opportunity, and making it acceptable to talk about these issues. Our project will include a series of multilingual discussions and awareness sessions over a period of six months engaging younger women and older women.
We will include discussion and dialogue with “people of influence”, local people from within the community. By bringing about dialogue and discussions, we can create a shared understanding of the issues and go on to equip the women to be more vigilant, better informed and confident enough to address these topics from within their communities. We are working with Horse & Bamboo Theater Company who will offer art based activity sessions to help the beneficiaries illustrate feelings and emotions.
The charity itself is relatively new. The founder, Joanne Hargreaves-Doherty, lost her 16 year old son James to suicide in 2016. The main objectives of Doherty’s destiny are to:
- Promote positive mental health in young people
- Establish Tower Woods, Thornton Cleveleys, as a community park including a signpost within the woods to prevent any more suicides
- Create a suicide victim support group locally as our closest one currently is in Bolton
Joanne's vision has seen many fundraisers and a successful bid from the Lancashire and South Cumbria Suicide Prevention Fund to enable the second Jamesfest to go ahead which took place on 19th May 2019. This is a free music festival held on Cleveleys Plaza which raises awareness of the vital need for more support for young people and their mental health needs locally, whilst raising the profile of Doherty’s Destiny.
The signpost for Tower Woods is in the process of being made and will be in situ in August 2019. The suicide victim support group, part of the innovation funding will pay for a qualified counsellor to be present should anyone attend who needs their support began on 25th June and will be available on the last Tuesday of each month.
The Birchall Trust
The Birchall Trust provides a specialist trauma informed counselling service to all people living in South Cumbria and North Lancashire who have experienced rape and sexual abuse. We also provide psychoeducation and counselling to their loved ones so they are able to be alongside them during their therapeutic journey and healing process. We are also committed to raise awareness around the subject of rape and sexual abuse and provide specialist training to professionals and the community.
Yellow Button Scheme
Recently there have been sad reports of young people taking their own lives due to bullying, pressures at home or mental health problems. Our project is a suicide outreach scheme within schools. It focuses on training a number of sixth form students to provide a listening service for other pupils who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. The sixth form students will be identified by a yellow badge and will be trained in listening and signposting skills. They will be able to contact the right people or services depending on the needs of the young person seeking help. There will be at least 2 teachers trained in each school to supervise the Yellow Button Workers, in addition to an Orange Button Worker (community suicide outreach worker) being available to offer help and support.
Every Life Matters - self-harm safe kit
The Self-harm Safe Kit is a small, tactile, handy and customisable box of materials that can slip easily into a pocket or bag and can contribute towards an individual’s journey away from self-harm. Both recognising that self-harm will likely continue to some degree during recovery but offering multiple resources for the individual to start to make positive choices about alternatives, and about accessing more support.
Hyndburn Leisure Up and Active
Hyndburn Leisure Up and Active 12 week Physical activity programme consists of supported sessions based around introductions to exercise for young people and adults. Activities are mostly based at one of our Leisure Centre’s and participants will have access to our facilities in Hyndburn during their 12 weeks. Activities consist of Gym, swim and a variety of exercise classes suitable for all abilities. Our team will support participants to improve their health and wellbeing and to continue with their progression and continuation after they have completed their 12 weeks.