This press release was issued by PAPYRUS on 2 October 2023.

Suicide prevention training is being extended as part of a strategy to reduce the number of people who take their own lives in the West Midlands.

Earlier this year Sandwell Council’s Public Health Team announced it would be working with the national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide to deliver training to staff who have contact with children, young people and adults. In addition to the council’s multi agency frontline workers, the fully-funded training is now being extended to include other professionals and individuals who want know more about how to spot and respond to suicidal behaviour.

James Parkes, PAPYRUS’ Area Manager for England North, said: “The training is now being offered to a wider range of participants in the Sandwell area, to those who would benefit from more knowledge, greater understanding of the complexities of suicide and ultimately how to help save lives.

“Those individuals would need to select the appropriate level of training depending on their work and their position within an organisation or the community.

“Prevention is everybody’s business. We need to break down the stigma around suicide and equip people and communities with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.”

PAPYRUS has already delivered 13 introductory SPEAK (Suicide Prevention – Explore, Ask, Keep Safe) tutorial sessions in Sandwell and is also delivering the gold standard ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) which is an intensive two-day course.

Baljeet Farmah, a Domestic Abuse Services Coordinator who has already attended the training with charity, said: “It was very insightful and the trainers were excellent.”

The council is spending just under £50,000 on the accredited training which is part of the Sandwell Suicide Prevention Partnership, an initiative which is spreading greater awareness, investing in lifesaving skills and working to reduce the number of suicides.

PAPYRUS is a member of the partnership and has a team based in Birmingham.

Anyone who is interested in booking onto the fully funded training can find out more here:

Alternatively, email the PAPYRUS England North Admin team:

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