The Zero Suicide Alliance has been known for the training we offer to anyone, who wants to gain awareness of suicide in the UK.
Beyond this the Alliance works with stakeholders from across the country in the joint aim of reducing suicide. Our overriding mission is to bring people together and to share what works, facilitating the changes necessary to achieve our mission of zero suicide.
Since the founding of the alliance the ZSA has been known for the intuitive, simple e-learning module, available from our website for free, for anyone.
Our training can be accessed here.
So far our e-learning has been accessed over 1.3 million times internationally, with over 85% being from the UK.
Our training focusses on breaking stigma and encouraging open conversations with those we are worried about. Offering three scenarios, the ZSA Suicide Awareness Training takes roughly 20-30 minutes and is a good starting place for people who want to support someone at risk.
Along with the launch of the new website we are introducing a new shorter version of the course. This Gateway module, takes roughly 5-10 minutes to complete and is aimed at people who want a very brief introduction to suicide risk in the UK. As with the fuller version, our shorter course gives basic advice on how people can be supported to speak with a friend or colleague if they are worried about them.
In June 2020 we launched a further new training module called Step Up, which tackles social isolation and the effects of the Coronavirus and lockdown on our wellbeing and mental health, which can lead to increased risk of suicide.
All three of our training modules can be found on the ZSA Training page.
In the near future we are looking to add to our training options, including adding new scenarios and new modules for specific audiences. We are working in partnership with many groups from diverse sectors and we are always looking to help make bespoke solutions, which suit your needs.
We understand that suicide is a social issue, and not something that can be managed within healthcare services alone. Real outcomes to reduce suicide will require a concerted effort from across all aspects of life. To do this we need information and access to the best information and evidence, which can help spread better prevention in a variety of different ways.
Our digital work focusses on sharing the very best examples and information from around the globe to connect people and organisations so that they can see practical examples of what works elsewhere and hopefully implement these ideas to improve system responsiveness throughout the country.
To do this we are working with partners like the Health Innovation Network and the Mental Health Foundation to find international examples of good practice and review and collate them into one easy to use resource library.
Connected to this website, we will be launching this resource library to provide access to the best practice examples from across the world, with contact details so you can get in touch with the people who run it to find out more.
We also believe that information is power, and so we look to share as much relevant information as we can with you, our members, and the public, to empower you to understand suicide risk for your area, and the things that can lead to sustainable improvements.
Our interactive map will allow you to see statistics for your area and will provide insight on how it fares relative to other local examples. Our map will start by showing you the social and economic factors, which we know can influence suicide risk for a community.
We work closely with several local areas who are all working towards suicide prevention plans, which are centred on the national strategic priorities. We know that their work focusses on specific factors, and this map is not designed to be critical to their work, but to provide context to how factors outside of their control may also be influencing risk.
We hope that by providing this insight we can help them ask for the help that they need, encourage other sectors to take action and help support the suicide prevention plans in their area, and to inform citizens, so they can drive change locally.
In the future this map will have additional overlays which will present other aspects of the current situation in each county. We also hope to expand the map to include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The majority of people who go on to take their own lives are not known to mental health services at the time of their death. To reach out and support people who are at risk we need to think differently and to engage through other avenues than the NHS alone.
We believe that as aggregators of people and with a duty of care to their employees, businesses and employers are an important part of any plan to prevent suicide, improve mental health, and foster positive wellbeing.
For those people who are in work, their organisation has more contact with them than any other facet of society, and so it has the potential to reach a person who could be feeling lost, alone and hopeless about the future.
We work with organisations to help them understand their role in protecting their staff and customers, and present the information and tools they need to address mental health, psychological wellbeing and suicide proactively.
By helping businesses better understand how they can help their employees, many organisations can help safeguard their teams to support positive health and wellbeing as well as manage risk of suicide.
We also recognise that an organisation can be a small community, and following the tragic loss of a colleague, it can be difficult for the whole organisation. We encourage all organisations to have suicide prevention and post-vention processes which are grounded in compassion, respect and a just and learning culture.
This year we will also be expanding the work that we do to include the following areas:
We know that hospitals are under enormous pressure and that meeting the nation’sphysical health needs is a significant challenge day by day. We believe that a significant portion of the demand on A&E units stems from mental ill health, with self-harm and suicide attempts being a key driver of demand in an already busy system.
We want to work with hospitals to understand the demand they face through these presentations, offering tools and examples of practice which have helped elsewhere.
We will be looking to work with a small group of hospitals to trial a new approach to emergency mental health care, with a view to sharing the results and supporting other hospitals to follow soon.
Since the Alliance was formed, we have maintained strong links with our international colleagues within suicide prevention and mental health care. We recognise that suicide is a global issue and one that requires joined up thinking and collaborative approaches to tackle.
We have been chosen as the next host of the Zero Suicide International summit in 2020, bringing together key thought leaders from across the world to develop an international framework to drive suicide prevention for everyone.
This year we hope to further develop our international links and to promote more international collaboration in suicide prevention. We want the UK to have a strong presence as a global exemplar of excellent practice, recognising all of the work being done by third sector organisations, NHS Trusts and local government public health teams, working together in joint purpose.
We also want to foster and nurture world class innovation across the UK, supporting and connecting areas of excellent practice and sharing successes.
The UK has a unique healthcare sector which allows us to work in ways that other countries simply can’t, and to bring together data, practice and thoughts through partnerships built on our National Health Service.