The most obvious place to start is the training OLLIE delivers. If you are 15 or older you can attend a suicideTALK or safeTALK. If you’re 16 or older you can attend ASIST. safeTALK and ASIST are designed for people who have no previous training or experience, so you don’t need to be a professional, simply someone who wants to make a difference in your community.
School / House Charity
If you’re a student and want to get involved, you could nominate OLLIE as your whole school/house charity. Whenever a school raises money for OLLIE we want to reinvest that back into the community that raised it in the first place. What that means is when a school has OLLIE as its charity, we will offer our training at no cost or at a discounted rate depending on the amount of money raised.
OLLIE’s Advocate Army
For 6th formers and post-16 students why don’t you start your own OLLIE’s Army to fight against stigma in your school, college or uni? This can be made up of students who have attended safeTALK and ASIST and wear OLLIE’s lapel pins to signify to other students that that can come and talk to them.
We know that talking to your child about their mood, wellbeing or mental health isn’t always the easiest conversation, and neither is talking about suicide. For many parents it’s a terrifying prospect and often a subject that is avoided. However, research shows that asking directly about suicide can actually reduce the risk of a young person ending their life. safeTALK can help you develop the confidence to have that difficult conversation and if you are ever in a position where your child is considering suicide, ASIST can teach you how to create a safe-plan and to intervene until professional advice is available.
Parents have the hardest job in the world and so often while you’re just getting through the day you have people telling you how to parent, what you should and shouldn’t do. We know that parents are more inclined to follow advice from other parents who “have the t-shirt”. If you’ve attended our training and understand the value of it, you can help OLLIE by spreading the word and encouraging others to attend. It’s that simple but very effective!
Lobby your child’s school: We’ve created a for you to personalise to allow you to ask your child’s school about their work on suicide prevention. Simply make the letter relevant to you and your family and send it to the Designated Safeguarding Person (DSP) at your child’s school or college.
Every year many children spend a minimum of 714 hours in secondary school. Education staff there are at the centre of children’s development and wellbeing. As each year goes by, more responsibility is being placed on education for young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Too often staff feel under-trained and under-equipped whilst supporting children, especially if that child is suicidal. This is the reason why The OLLIE Foundation was started, to ensure education staff have the skills and confidence they need to positively and effectively respond to children and young adults who are at crisis point.
Lobby your SLT at work
There is so much training around for education staff so we’re sure it can be difficult for your Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to decide what they should invest time in. If you want to attend OLLIE’s training but haven’t had the opportunity to yet, you could take your reasoning as to why you should to your Head and SLT.
Whilst there is the perception that professionals are experts in mental health, even those that are, are often nervous about the topic of suicide. One of the reasons for this, is that due to the stigma surrounding it, explicit training for how to deal with individuals considering suicide is a relatively new thing. Professionals who have attended courses to date include counsellors, doctors and nurses. A large part of the training is about giving people confidence in themselves when working with the topic of suicide, as well as the practical skills and knowledge.
There is a growing movement to make mental health training mandatory by legal requirement for businesses in the UK, making it in line with physical first aid. The “Where’s Your Head At?” campaign has proposed that Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is necessary to the same standards as First Aid Training within businesses. To find out more about our corporate programme please contact us.