Epidose three - ‘Does anything worry you about having a conversation with someone who is suicidal?’

Hosts – Arlie (Suicide Prevention Coproduction Project Co-ordinator at Leeds Mind) & Ryan (volunteer)

Volunteers – Debbie & Matt

What  hope staff will get out of this series:

Matt – ‘I have struggled with my mental health and addiction issues for a couple of decades now… and eventually get better. I thought this would be a good way to help people who could potentially be in the same boat’.


This week’s episode offers support and reassurance to staff who may be worried about having conversations with people in crisis. Drawing on their own lived experience, Matt and Debbie explain that genuine, compassionate care can be life-saving. They said staff don’t necessarily need to focus too much on the intricacies of language; being brave enough to initiate a conversation, and truly hold space with someone, can have a huge positive impact on someone’s life.

Main takeaways from the volunteers' discussions:

  • Call for staff to consider if they feel they may have been desensitised to mental health crisis. Staff have a significant role to play in supporting vulnerable people, so consider how care and compassion is at the forefront.
  • Recommendation to staff to be mindful that it could be hard for people in crisis to trust them right away. There is a need to make people feel as at ease as possible to build a rapport and trust.
  • If staff intervention comes from a genuine place of care and compassion, it can only make things better.