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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Working together to prevent suicide

07 September 2018

Key stakeholders in suicide prevention are highlighting the importance of the collaborative effort across government and our wider community to prevent suicide, as part of the ‘working together’ theme of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September.

The Director of Public Health Policy and Chair of the Prevention of Suicide Steering Group, Martin Knight, said: “When somebody takes their own life, it is a devastating event. It is not just an individual tragedy but can be a life altering event for those bereaved and a traumatic event for the involved communities and services.

"The impacts are immediate and profoundly distressing as well as long lasting. Working collectively to better connect and communicate across our community can help support those protective factors that can help to avert the catastrophe of a suicide attempt.”

Jersey’s Prevention of Suicide Framework for Action was launched as part of the Mental Health Strategy in November 2015 and since then a range of collaborative work has been supported.

This work includes on-line information on mental health and support services; development of multi-agency crisis response; training on awareness and responding to people who may be feeling suicidal; developing consistent and timely pathways of support and safety planning and production of the bereavement by suicide ‘help is at hand’ resource.

A recent example of collaboration was work to follow up on the ‘help is at hand' resource where Public Health Officers and Mind Jersey worked together to support a workshop of local people with experience of bereavement.

The findings from the workshop are now informing the improvement of support, including a pilot programme of peer support for relatives and friends following death by suicide of someone close to them.

Executive Director for Mind Jersey, James Le Feuvre, said: “We believe there is a significant gap in the provision of support for people bereaved by suicide and that there is a role for a volunteer peer support worker, with experience in this area, to meet this need.

"This peer to peer support would be delivered to complement, and not replace, appropriate professional input. With sufficient resources Mind Jersey believes its existing family and carers support service would be well placed to host and oversee this provision.”​

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