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Newark charity offers free suicide awareness training

Posted onPosted on 2nd Sep

With almost daily headlines focusing on suicide rates and the rise in mental ill health, thanks in part to the Covid-19 lockdown, local mental health and wellbeing charity Shawmind is offering free suicide awareness training to all.

On Thursday, 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day, Shawmind will host an online training session to help people gain a better understanding of mental ill health and equip them with the knowledge, skills and empathy needed to feel confident in offering support to someone in need, or in a mental health crisis.

Su Hallam, charity manager at Newark-based Shawmind, said: “Having a basic knowledge of mental ill health and awareness of the support systems available to people who are experiencing mental ill health or suicidal thoughts can make a difference in a mental health crisis situation.

“How many times do you hear, ‘I wish I knew they were feeling that way, they could have talked to me’ when someone has died by suicide?

“Spotting the signs early on and having the confidence to approach someone (as long as it’s safe to do so), to start a conversation can be all it takes to enable someone with the help they need.

“We want to reassure people that they won’t make things worse by listening to someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. But by taking the time to listen to them, you might pick up on something that could offer them hope — hope is a very powerful thing, hope can save lives.”

Death by suicide claimed the lives of 6,507 people in the UK in 2018, the majority of whom were men — who are three time as likely to die by suicide than women. Men in their late 40s still have the highest rate of suicides, but under-25s accounted for 23.7 per cent of suicides in 2018.

Mental ill health affects one in four people each year. In England, mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.

Su added: “Our volunteers have been even busier than usual during lockdown, with more and more people from all corners of the UK approaching us for support.

“I’m hopeful that if we’re able to equip more people with a basic understanding of mental health disorders then the whole of society will benefit in the long-term as we learn to help each other.”

Hosted on the charity’s YouTube channel,, the suicide awareness training will be delivered by Su live at 10am and 2pm. It will then be made available to stream at any time.

If anyone has a question about the training or would like to get access to a dedicated Shawmind support volunteer, email

For more information about the charity, its support services and its fundraising focus, visit