The JWSMF is a fund set up by James Wentworth-Stanley's parents following the death of their 21 year old son James in 2006. We are committed to reducing the number of suicides in this country, particularly focused on young people and men. We fund research, training and emotional support and believe suicide is preventable.
James’ Place, is a non-clinical centre for men experiencing suicidal crisis and is the first service of its kind in the UK. Taking referrals from local hospitals, and student counselling services, visitors will be offered a service of one-to-one free therapeutic support during their time of need.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
JWSMF is instrumental in bringing together small organisations invested in suicide prevention via The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC). As a result we have first-hand knowledge of areas that need support. In particular we have funded research into the experience of suicidal feelings, training university staff in suicide awareness/prevention, Nightline support for students, urgent funding for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide to continue supporting bereaved families, lobbying for changes in confidentiality law, advising the Department of Health on the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
What are your current priorities?
JWSMF believes that suicides could be greatly reduced if urgent one-to-one counselling could be accessed in a calm, non-clinical setting. We believe A&E is the wrong setting for those in despair and we are committed to helping provide a place for those in crisis to be signposted to. Too often, people are sectioned or sent home as there is no other option to keep them safe.
Existing material from HealthTalkOnline on bereavement by suicide will be adapted and developed to provide a training resource for those in close contact with those bereaved by suicide. This will include clinicians, police, coroners’ officers etc.
JWSMF has agreed to co-fund a PhD studentship focusing on suicide prevention at Worcester University. The University has developed an action plan for suicide prevention as a result of meetings with JWSMF and TASC. They are already installing a Nightline and providing ‘SafeTALK’ of ‘Youth MHFA’ for residential ambassadors.
What challenges are you currently facing?
The current challenges in suicide prevention are: 1. Stigma surrounding suicide 2. Lack of funding (Govt.) 3. Cultural changes (religious, gender etc.) 4. Ignorance that suicide is a male phenomenon 5. Dealing with people in suicidal crisis in clinical settings, such as A&E. Wrong environment.