Dozens of frontline workers given skills to save lives through Suicide First Aid training

More than 90 staff from blue light services and frontline organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside have now received Suicide First Aid Through Understanding Interventions (SFAUSI) training as part of a scheme commissioned by the Collaborative.

Workers from North West Ambulance Service, Cheshire Police, Merseyside Police, Mersey Rail and Cheshire Fire and Rescue have attended the training funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and equipped themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to identify someone who may be thinking about suicide, and competently intervene to help create suicide-safety as a first aid approach.

In addition, 15 staff from the same organisations as well as Mersey Tunnels have attended an Associate Tutor Training Development Programme and are working towards gaining a license which will enable them to deliver SFAUSI training throughout their workforces. The feedback from the programme was really encouraging:

  • “Amazing course that everyone should learn, this course should be offered to everyone like physical first aid.”
  • “Absolutely amazing. Will definitely help save lives.”
  • “So glad I have been provided the opportunity to have attended this week’s course. I’ve loved every minute, learnt stuff that will only benefit me moving forward in my role as a suicide prevention lead as well as a suicide first aid trainer.”
  • “Wonderful course, so relevant to my line of work.”

These delegates will complete an accredited unit of learning and deliver an observed half-day ‘light’ version of the training to up to 16 delegates from their workforce. Successful completion of the programme provides formal suicide prevention tutor certification, accredited by the City & Guilds Institute.

Neil Boardman, Suicide Prevention Programme Manager for the Champs Support Team, said:

“It’s a difficult subject area but we are very pleased that the uptake of the training has been so successful and Merseyrail and blue light teams across the subregion are seeking a greater understanding and the confidence to intervene with people at risk of suicide.

“The training provides learners with the knowledge and tools to save lives. Suicide is one of the most preventable deaths and by delivering this training, we are equipping staff with the skills to help someone thinking about suicide to stay safe from their thoughts and stay alive.”