Volunteers on a suicide prevention project are looking to create a podcast series around their lived experience of suicidal crisis – and have appealed for frontline health and care staff to help.Image shows the logos of both Leeds Mind and the Suicide Prevention Programme.png

The volunteers have created a series of questions for staff to answer around working with people in crisis and plan to use themes from the responses to help guide their podcast discussions.

The deadline for responses – which will all be anonymised for the project – is November 2nd and it is hoped the future podcast series will offer support to staff working with people in crisis in future.  

The podcast is the latest initiative of a two-year ‘coproduction’ project, commissioned by West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP)’s Suicide Prevention Programme and led by Leeds Mind, where volunteers bring the voice of lived experience into suicide prevention work in West Yorkshire.

All volunteers have experience of the impact of suicide – having been suicidal themselves, bereaved by suicide or supported someone else facing mental health challenges.

The volunteers’ work so far has included a Community Conversations initiative to capture mental health support experiences, creating a Book of Cope on positive coping strategies, publishing guidelines on involving people with lived experience in work and making a  film which speaks directly to frontline staff on their experience of best practice.

Arlie Haslam, co-ordinator of the coproduction project at Leeds Mind, said: “The goal of the volunteers is to create a podcast series which would facilitate open and honest conversations, encourage best practice and offer hope within the system.

“Input from staff and services would be anonymised and all our volunteers are trained to share their lived experience in a safe way.

“Staff are invited to answer the questions that resonate with them the most – that could be some or all.”

Arlie said the deadline for answers is November 2nd but added that the earlier the better.

Please send any responses to Arlie at arlie.haslam@leedsmind.org.uk.

The Questions for frontline health and care staff:

  1. Is there anything that you would want to ask a person with experience of suicidal ideation, that you feel you can’t ask in your everyday work?

  2. What ideas/tips/advice that you are advised to give out do you feel works for people in crisis most effectively?

  3. Does anything worry you about having a conversation with someone who is suicidal?

  4. Accessing services – ‘what do you see as a barrier to accessing crisis services? What do you think would encourage people to access crisis services?

  5.  From a professional perspective, do you feel that you face any barriers/frustrations to offering support to someone in crisis?

  6. Based on your lived (and/or) professional experience, what changes would you like to see in crisis services?

  7. Think about crisis situations you’ve been part of previously. Was there anything you found difficult about it? Is there something you would like to ask someone with lived experience about that could help you in the future?