World Suicide Prevention Day – Our hope.

Posted: 07 September 2022, in Blog

The theme for this years World Suicide prevention day on the 10th of September is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ which aims to empower people with the confidence to engage with the complexity of ‘hope’.

The focus of the day is to raise awareness that it is okay to ask someone about suicidal thoughts and that doing so could save a life.

As a social enterprise training provider who specialise in delivering mental health first aid and suicide prevention learning Macdonald & MacMillan Training fully support that hope can be created through our actions.

Our social enterprise has engaged with employers, organisations and communities all over Scotland to provide upskilling, awareness and confidence in talking about mental health and suicide prevention since being established in March this year. We are encouraged that suicide rates in Scotland reduced by 6.5% in 2021 however 753 people still died by suicide which is more than 2 people every day.

The accredited training courses that we deliver have a profound social impact and encourages people not to be afraid to talk about suicidal thoughts and feelings if they are worried about someone.

We know that evidence shows that asking someone if they’re suicidal doesn’t make things worse, it can protect people, as it provides a crucial opportunity to open up, express their feelings and seek help.

Our trainers Gary Macdonald and Des MacMillan have been mental health and suicide prevention activists since becoming mental health community champions in 2016 with the Scottish mental health charity See Me who tackle stigma and discrimination. Gary and Des have also established successful voluntary community support groups that directly tackle the challenges of poor mental health and suicide. MindtheMen in Glasgow and the Argyle Wellbeing Hub in Oban. We are now able to provide essential and effective training that is continually evaluated to help build a Scottish network of mental health first aiders and people in communities who are suicide alert and able to intervene effectively and potentially save lives.

The Public Health Scotland approved 12 hour Scottish Mental Health first aid course that we deliver provides attendees with practical skills to identify signs and triggers of mental health issues, the confidence to step in and reassure someone who is distressed and the ability to have supportive conversations and signpost effectively to professional help.

We also provide the 4 hour suicide alertness course called Safe TALK and the 2 day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) which provides advanced suicide first aid learning that includes creating a plan to support immediate safety. Both of these Living Works courses are approved by the world health organisation.

Attending our training will provide life changing skills that can not only be used in your workplace or organisation but also in your personal life. We are extremely proud of the feedback attendees have provided us with that shows that hope is being created through the action of effective learning.

“Gary and Des were brilliant – I have never been on such a thoughtful, engaging and enjoyable training course before. It was clear that both facilitators are deeply invested in the delivering this course, and their enthusiasm and personalities made this course a fantastic experience. I can confidently say that all intended learning outcomes were achieved.” Course attendee SMHFA course, Glasgow Sep 2022.

We would welcome a conversation with anyone who shares our passion about mental health and suicide prevention training and continue to share that hope is always possible.

For more information about Macdonald & MacMillan Training, please visit their website or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.