Connecting with People (4 Mental Health Ltd)

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4 Mental Health is the parent company behind the Connecting with People training programs.

The Connecting with People approach is an organisational response to tackling suicide and self-harm. It is robust approach that combines compassion and clinical governance. It involves developing awareness, knowledge and skills, whilst tackling stigma and building emotional resilience.

The approach is strongly evidenced based and uses a set of clinical tools (fully peer reviewed and published) that ensure quality and consistent care. Modular training builds knowledge, skills and compassion. Clear structure and recording of information ensure excellent governance. An App is used to easily and securely integrate records with NHS IT systems. Connecting with People approach has been designed to fit a specific gap in provision, rather than to duplicate what is already available. Engagement of service users, the NHS and the third sector are central to the approach.

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Organisation Details

Address Ashdown House
Riverside Business Park
Benarth Road
LL32 8UB
Twitter @4_MentalHealth_

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

The Connecting with People training programs delivered by 4 Mental Health provide a strategic approach to suicide prevention, using our experience of organisational development and community engagement.

Our clinical governance framework and a suite of clinical tools are designed to be used alongside existing risk management tools. Connecting with People training places compassion at the core and the therapeutic frameworks enable practitioners to carry out a thorough clinical assessment, using techniques to instil hope and develop an immediate and long-term safety plan.

We have incorporated the essence of Values Based Commissioning by ensuring the training and approach is based on patient and carer perspectives, clinical expertise and knowledge derived from scientific evidence. We undertook extensive consultations with academics, practitioners, managers, people with lived experience as patients and carers. We work closely with organisations who adopt the Connecting with People training to ensure that improvements are sustained, and any barriers are overcome.

The Connecting with People training was developed to:

  • Provide a simple and consistent approach that can be applied across statutory care, third sector, community, service users and carers
  • Respond to low take up of suicide prevention training by providing bite sized in-house sessions to fit within protected CPD time or into shift patterns and delivered on site

We also develop free online self-help resources. We also offer building emotional resourcefulness at work and mental health awareness and compassion at work. We collaborate with national organisations on promotional activity to tackle mental health stigma and have led four international multimedia campaigns.

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What are your current priorities?

We will continue to work closely with the professional institutions to ensure that suicide prevention is given the highest priority and that all practice is based on excellent standards of care.

We will use our profile and social media presence to support campaigning against the stigma of suicide and mental health, nationally and internationally. We will work with the public sector (incl. NHS Trusts & CCG’s), corporate sector and other bodies to properly respond to suicide in their organisations.

Early intervention through delivering Mental Health awareness training in the workplace, delivering emotional resourcefulness training in workplaces and the community. Promoting emotional resilience and breaking down stigma in schools.

We will continue to work closely with people with lived experience and their carers to ensure that Connecting with People training remains focused on promoting the importance of a compassionate and safe response to people at risk of suicide. We will continue to collaborate to develop our self-help resources and to ensure everyone who needs them know how to access them.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

The main challenge is ensuring that organisations recognise and prioritise their responsibility to improve clinical governance and quality improvements to prevent unnecessary suicide. This means understanding that suicide is preventable, that everyone has a role in suicide prevention and that changes in care will save lives.

Significant in-roads have been made to tackle stigma in the general population but there is still stigma and a chronic lack of awareness within the NHS that is hindering constructive change.

Services that would benefit most from a safe response such as emergency departments and primary care do not appreciate that the importance of their critical role or do not give suicide prevention sufficient priority.

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