The Zero Suicide Alliance’s (ZSA) free online Suicide Awareness Training has reached another major milestone for Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW).

The training, which launched in November 2017, has now been taken two million times at the start of MHAW, which runs from 9-15 May. This equates to a cost of just £0.99 per training taken following the Government’s financial backing of the ZSA in 2018 to improve suicide awareness and training and the development of one of the most extensive digital resources to support suicide prevention.

Each person who completes the training gains skills to have a potentially life-saving conversation with someone who may be thinking about suicide.

ZSA co-founder Professor Joe Rafferty CBE said: “We’re delighted so many people have taken our training and thank everyone who continues to support us by sharing our training and messages.

“We believe that one life lost to suicide is one too many. You don’t have to be a health professional to talk about suicide and the more people who feel able to speak to someone at risk, the more lives that can be saved.”

Since launching the 20 minute training, the ZSA has added social isolation training, including bespoke courses translated into Welsh and another for students.

Steve Mallen, another ZSA co-founder who lost his 18-year-old son Edward to suicide in 2015, said: “One in five people will experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. Only one in four young people who die by suicide have been in recent contact with mental health service. This is why it’s important more people feel able to have conversations with someone who’s struggling.

“We know talking about suicide doesn’t come easily for most people, even if you’re talking to someone you know well. Our training aims to support people to feel more comfortable and able to talk about suicide so that they’re prepared if the situation arises.

“I made a promise to myself to keep Ed’s legacy alive and I’m extremely proud our Suicide Awareness training has reached so many people and continues to do so.”