The Matthew Elvidge Trust focuses on raising awareness and encouraging young people and others, who are suffering from anxiety or depression to ask for and receive the right professional help. Our main priority is ensuring that students at school, college or university understand how to keep mentally well and have straightforward and fast access to the right help when they need it. We are a grant maker and support three excellent volunteer based organisations, who do amazing work in UK universities: Student Minds, Nightline, and Students against Depression, who campaign, provide support groups and offer an overnight emotional support line. We also chair the Alliance for Student Led Wellbeing. In addition we support the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team and are a founder member of the Schools for Wellbeing Partnership, which comprises a number of organisations engaged in promoting and delivering emotional wellbeing and mental health education in schools.
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How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
The Matthew Elvidge Trust focuses on raising awareness and encouraging people and others, who are suffering from anxiety and depression to ask for and receive the right professional help. We achieve this by identifying and working alongside a number of outstanding small charities and organisations. Universities and Colleges Our main priority is ensuring that students at school, college and university understand how to keep mentally well and have straightforward and fast access to the right help when they need it. We support three volunteer based charities, who work in UK Universities – Student Minds, Nightline and Students against Depression, who are all members of the Alliance for Student Led Wellbeing, which we chair. These organisations campaign, provide support groups, offer an overnight, emotional support helpline and enable students to access award winning online resources. Schools We have also been instrumental in founding and supporting the ‘Partnership for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools’, which brings together 40 organisations involved in providing emotional wellbeing, resilience and mental health education in schools. The Partnership aims to inspire schools to ‘put emotional wellbeing at the heart of their ethos, culture and activities’ in order to support academic attainment. Government Policy and Bereavement Support The Trust is a member of the Government’s National Suicide Prevention (NSP) Strategy Advisory Board, co-chair of the NSP Alliance and co-chair of The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC). We chair the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership, whose Vision is to ‘ensure that everyone bereaved or affected by suicide is offered and receives timely and appropriate support.’
What are your current priorities?
Our priorities for the upcoming year include:
Student Mental Health
To provide leadership, funding and support to the Alliance for Student Led Wellbeing and its members to ensure that we grow our capacity to campaign, provide support groups, offer overnight emotional helplines and deliver online resources, so that more and more students know how to look after their own mental health, support others and receive the right professional help at the right time.
The alliance is:
- Developing a framework for student mental health
working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on research into the nature, level and cost of mental health provision in universities.
- Reviewing mental health training provision across UK universities.
Partnership for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools
To work with the National Childrens’ Bureau and Action for Happiness and build the emerging Partnership for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools into an increasingly effective organisation, which delivers its Vision of ‘inspiring schools to put emotional wellbeing at the heart of their ethos, culture and activities in order to support student development.’
- Developing an evidence base on the link between emotional wellbeing and life long learning and attainment.
- Influencing policy makers towards including emotional wellbeing and mental health in the school curriculum, Ofsted inspections and teacher training.
Advising Government and others
To continue our work in providing advice to Government boards and others on the effectiveness of national and local policy and actions for suicide prevention.
To provide leadership to the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) and The Alliance of (Small) Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC), to ensure that they are effective in their work and particularly in:
Encouraging local authority led suicide prevention activity plans.
Launching and growing a website for all matters related to suicide prevention.
To build the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership (SBSP) into an organisation, which enables its members to increase the level and quality of support available to those affected by suicide. This includes:
- Working with SBSP members to develop a national framework which will enable ‘everyone bereaved or affected by suicide to be offered and receive timely and appropriate support.’
- Developing a survey of those bereaved or affected and using the results to help policy makers and others understand the impacts and action required.
- Supporting Public Health England (PHE) in refreshing and updating Help is at Hand.
Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team
To provide funding, advice and guidance to the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team to ensure that it has a sustainable long term future and continues to patrol Beachy Head 100 hours a week, in order to save lives.
What challenges are you currently facing?
The main challenges in delivering these outcomes are:
- The lack of resources made available through public service providers to support our objectives, particularly in the areas of early intervention and bereavement support.
- The need for policy changes to bring emotional wellbeing and mental health into the schools curriculum, Ofsted inspection and teacher training and a realisation that childrens’ attainment and achievements will be improved by a greater focus and priority on emotional wellbeing and good mental health.
- The lack of research into the causes of poor mental health, suicide and effective interventions.
- The need for all Health and Wellbeing Boards to have suicide prevention plans relevant to their area.