World Suicide Prevention Day

A picture of a Frog on a rock taken at One Team Gov Well-being Camp in 2019.

One Team Gov are running two events for #WSPD2020, find out more and get involved

What’s going on?

  • One Team Gov are running two events for World Suicide Prevention Day
  • These will be held virtually on 19 August and 10 September 2020

What do we need?

  • Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA); Mental Health Advocates (MHA); people with an interest in mental health or who work in related policy areas to co-create our agenda
  • Mental Health First Aid volunteers to support our attendees on the day
  • Anybody who can link us with charity groups to speak about their organisation and provide support.
  • You! If you have an interest in the event for whatever reason, and would like to get involved, please let us know.

How?

  • Scroll to the bottom to sign up using our Google Form

Why are we doing this?

We are living in pressured times. COVID-19 means more of us are experiencing isolation, anxiety, and grief. Our world has changed immeasurably, without warning, and that’s a lot to take.

We see that our communities are struggling and it’s clear that the pandemic will have a long term effect on our way of life.

On top of this, some of our communities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

There’s been a 44 % uplift in access of LGBT Heroes’ Suicide Prevention pages [1]. Our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK are more likely to be suffering from COVID, and the mortality rate is twice as high within the Bangladeshi community [2]. We know that older people have been asked to shield for longer, and that fatality rates for those over 80 years of age is five times the global average [3].

We all know someone who has been affected by COVID-19.

This pandemic has thrown the underlying inequalities in our systems and infrastructure into sharp relief, least of all in the Black Lives Matter protests that started in the United States following the murder of George Floyd and have spread across the world.

We also know that UK mental health charities are under intense pressure, Samaritans estimate that 30% of their volunteers are unable to work due to self-isolating, and CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) stated on the 18 May that they had seen record breaking demand, and, since lockdown have directly prevented 80 suicides [5].

Working in and around the public sector means that many of our friends and colleagues will be working on policy or operational areas directly related to responding to this worldwide event. They will also have seen the effect of the pandemic on their own welfare, health and finances.

More than ever it is important that we look after our colleagues and provide spaces for people to come together. As a society we are getting better at talking about our mental health, but often these conversations fall short of discussing suicide.

So One Team Gov will run two events this summer on the subject of Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Both will be open to anyone to attend.

Mental Health First Aid breakfast “takeover”

19 August 2020–8.30am GMT

On 19 August we will run an extended One Team Gov virtual breakfast where we will be inviting MHFA/MHAs from across government to come together and talk about the upcoming World Suicide Prevention Day. We will be signposting to Zero Suicide Alliance training that friends and colleagues can take online, for free, in the run up to World Suicide day. We hope that this will enable attendees to feel prepared to support others who might be in need.

We will also be co-creating the agenda for a second event planned for the 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day. This is your opportunity to tell us what we should include, what we need to consider, and to ensure that the event is as useful as possible for raising awareness amongst our colleagues.

World Suicide Prevention Day

10 September 2020 — Time TBC

The second event will be held on 10 September (World Suicide Prevention Day) and will be open to everyone. We hope to make people aware of suicide rates under COVID-19 and effects on our communities.

It will be an opportunity to hear from experts and charity representatives. The agenda will be co-created with the Mental Health First Aiders and other attendees of the breakfast session on 19 August.

We will do everything possible to create a safe and supportive environment for our attendees on the day, though we appreciate that some attendees may find the content triggering.

As such, we are also looking for Mental Health First Aider colleagues to support us during the event, to ensure that any attendee who may be struggling can gain the immediate 1:1 support that they need.

An attendee of One Team Gov Global unconference writes on a card “How can I help…l

Get involved!

Use the form below to get involved, and please share with anyone who you think might find it useful.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScbEpIF8te-FLa2DCXqTcjqKtMkgCAqnGAo7nZzYarzF1kOuw/viewform

If you have any questions or comments about the event please comment on this post or email us at contact@oneteamgov.uk

You can also tweet us @oneteamgov using the hashtag #OTGSP


Sources:

[1] BBC News — Lockdown: Suicide fears soar in LGBT community https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53223765

[2] Public Health England COVID-19 report https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

[3] World Health Organisation report https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200426-sitrep-97-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=d1c3e800_6

[4] Samaritans Emergency Appeal https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/fundraising-appeals/samaritans-emergency-appeal-coronavirus/

[5] CALM update 18 May https://www.thecalmzone.net/2020/05/adapting-to-a-new-normal/


Thanks to Debbie and the OTG organising team for support writing and publishing this post.

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