Big Lottery's Pounds Lm Will Help Fight Spate of Suicides in Wales; More Than 13,000 People to Be Trained in Suicide Intervention Skills and Support

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Byline: Greg Tindle

MENTAL health campaigners have received a pounds lm boost in their drive to help prevent suicides across Wales, it was announced today.

Mind Cymru has received backing over the next five years from the Big Lottery and aims to train thousands of people in suicide prevention techniques. The scheme, entitled Positive Choices - Helping Prevent Suicide Across Wales, aims to help those with serious mental health problems and identify those at the greatest risk of suicide.

It follows serious concerns about the number of suicides taking place in South Wales. In Bridgend a spate of apparent youth suicides since the start of 2007 has led to demands for more to be done to help young people.

The Big Lottery funding will be largely directed towards a massive training programme focusing on suicide intervention with a two-day course to improve the methods used by all health, social care and emergency workers to support people at risk of suicide.

Alan Briscoe, manager of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills course, said: "We are excited that this funding will allow us to take forward our Positive Choices project. Over the next five years we will be able to train more than 13,000 people in suicide intervention skills, while working to raise awareness build better links between community resources and support people at greatest risk of suicide across Wales."

At the heart of the project is a training programme that aims to improve the methods used by all health, social care and emergency service professionals to support people at risk of suicide. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training is internationally recognised as an important component of any suicide prevention strategy. …