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VIDEO: More than 350 people receive Suicide Prevention ‘Gatekeeper’ Training

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Tuesday 10th September, Wirral’s Public Health team have released a video highlighting potentially life-saving training that hundreds of people in Wirral have received this year.

Content Warning: Suicide prevention, mentions suicide. 

Known as ‘Gatekeeper’ training, the programme aims to develop individuals' knowledge, understanding and attitudes about mental health. The training also enables individuals to better identify those who may be at risk of suicide and make referrals to support services when necessary.

Coordinated by Wirral Public Health, to date, 364 health professionals, care workers and community volunteers from 49 organisations across the borough have received the training.

You can watch and share the full video here:

Individuals received the training as part of a region wide initiative by CHAMPS, Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative. The training is ongoing, with at least another 220 people set to receive it in Wirral.

Cllr Chris Jones, cabinet member for adult care and health, said: “Organisations receiving this training have included schools, universities, housing groups, charities and churches, among others.

“The fact that residents can go to a library or a one stop shop, and know that the staff or volunteers there have chosen to equip themselves to better support each other and the community in relation to suicide and mental health is something to be proud of.”

Cllr Jones continued: “The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is ‘working together’, a theme which I feel is perfectly apt for the training being taken up across Wirral.

“Initiatives, such as the Gatekeeper training, can help to bring into the light a subject which many people deal with alone or think of as ‘taboo’. We can work together to support people dealing with suicide, intrusive thoughts or life after bereavement by suicide.”

The video, produced by Wirral Council, includes interviews from staff members and volunteers from organisations across Wirral including Healthwatch Wirral, Spider Project, Age UK Wirral, Forum Housing.

It focuses on the professional and personal benefits of the training for the recipients as well as its effects within the community.

Wendy Kay, one of the suicide prevention trainers, said: “A big part of the training was building confidence in people, to talk about suicide and mental health. Quite often, even beginning the conversation with somebody can feel really difficult.

“Lots of the people we have trained have said a key part of building their confidence around this subject was the realisation that talking to somebody, sensitively and with an open mind, about mental health is usually a positive thing.

“Reaching out to show somebody that someone is interested in them and that they’re cared for can be helpful and worthwhile.”

The trainees are also given information on the mental health support available within the community in order for them to ‘signpost’ people they may perceive as potentially needing some support or advice.

Wendy Kay said: “This is about spreading the message that across Wirral, there are people out there, organisations and community groups, who want to help if you’re feeling low.

“In addition to the hundreds who have received this training, there are even greater numbers of people who will care and will want to help somebody, who is reaching out for support.”

The training is just one part of a wider programme of work being undertaken around suicide prevention in Wirral.

Looking for support?

  • In an emergency, always dial 999.
  • In a non-emergency, you can call 111 or, if you’re under 18, dial the CAMHS Central Advice and Duty Line 0151 488 8453.

The following advice lines and opening times may also be of use:

  • Samaritans, open 24/7: 116 123.
  • CALM helpline (support for men), 5pm – midnight every day: 0800 58 58 58.
  • Silver Line (support for older people), open 24/7: 0800 470 8090.
  • Anxiety UK Helpline, weekdays 9.30am - 5.30pm: 0344 477 5774.
  • Papyrus (specialist organisation for preventing Young People's suicide), weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm: 0800 068 4141.
  • For support following suicide by a loved one, visit https://listening-ear.co.uk/amparo/

The full list of organisations who have received the training so far in Wirral include:

Age UK Wirral, Amparo, Ashvillas, Barnados, Be Well, Beacon, Belvidere Centre, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Children & Young People’s Dept (CYPD), Department of Adult Social Services (DASS\AP), DWP/JCP, Edge Hill University, Forum Housing, Healthwatch Wirral, Heatherlands GP, The High Tidiers West Kirby’s Clean Up Crew, Arrowe Hospital NHS, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Wirral Libraries, Magenta Living, MWF, National Probation Service, Nine Leaves, Nurture Map, One Stop Shops, Pause Wellbeing Centre, Salvation Army, SPIDER Project, St Bridget’s Church, St Bridget’s West Kirby, St John the Baptist Church, The Open Door Centre, Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, WEB Merseyside, West Kirby Drop-in Group, West Kirby Methodist Church, Wired, Wirral Change, Wirral Connect, Wirral Mind, Wirral Ways To Recovery, WMC, St John Plessington School, Wirral Council, Lavoro, Phoenix Futures, Probation.