We are a boutique communications consultancy who believe good communications can deliver positive social change.
We are committed to using our communications skills and experience to improve health and well-being, by helping our clients to reach and motivate people on issues that include mental health, healthy eating, exercise, smoking, cancer and infectious diseases.
We work with national and local organisations to understand what influences and motivates people, using these insights to devise and deliver communication strategies and plans with tangible outcomes.
We have a specific interest in helping to support suicide prevention work after the suicide of Amy Meadows’ mother. In 2015, we led the update of Help is at Hand, a printed and online resources for people bereaved by suicide. In 2016, we are working with Public Health England on the development of two new toolkits.
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How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
As a communications company our focus is on using the power of effective communications (clear, consistent, targeted and motivation messaging targeted at specific audiences using appropriate communication channels) to support suicide prevention work. We are able to use our core skills of:
- Strategic communications planning, delivery and evaluation
- Communication audits and stakeholder research
- Social marketing and behaviour change interventions
- Brand creation and enhancement
- Corporate and campaign collateral development
To help across all seven outcome areas. In particular, our contribution, has, and will continue to include: Shaping the content and the promotion of better information and support for people bereaved or affected by suicide by leading the development of the revised Help is at Hand (completed September 2015) and devising the distribution and promotional strategy (spring 2016). We will also continue to have an active role in the ongoing enhancement of the www.supportaftersuicide.org website and associated activities. Shaping the content of good practice toolkits for Public Health England to encourage greater uptake of suicide prevention strategic planning and implementation, as well as the implementation of a clear and consistent framework for postvention services. Organising a service of reflection for people affected by suicide at St Martin-in-the-field, Trafalgar Square on 27 February 2016. In 2015, the inaugural service had over 420 attendees. In addition, we are committed to working collaboratively with all NSPA members and other stakeholders to share our communications expertise to support their work.
What are your current priorities?
We will devise good practice guidance for Public Health England targeting local authorities to influence their suicide prevention strategies and ensure Help is at Hand reaches people bereaved by suicide in a timely manner using trusted and relevant channels.
We will also produce a practice, evidence based framework and pathway for postvention services supported by the NSPA and Public Health England.
What challenges are you currently facing?
There are a number of key challenges:
- Ensuring that the experiences of people directly affected by suicide ideation or bereavement by suicide are genuinely listened to during the design and delivery of services.
- Building collaborative multi-agency involvement that utilises the knowledge, skills and capabilities of diverse organisations and individuals and reduces duplication of effort and significant gaps.
- Gathering a meaningful evidence base and utilising it effectively in the design and delivery of services. Suicide prevention work is woefully under-monitored and evaluated so it is difficult to points to what works. As a consequence, there are challenges devising robust business cases to influence commissioning.
Each of these has a profound impact on the way in which Meadows Communications approaches our work in this field.