Episode 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?’

Hosts – Arlie (former Suicide Prevention Coporduction Coordinator at Leeds Mind) and Ryan (volunteer)

Volunteers – Debbie and James

What hope staff will get out of this series: 

Debbie – ‘I want to use this platform as a means to create positive change… I would like to reduce the number of people who feel suicidal but also to try to create a world where people receive more kindness and compassion’.

James - ‘I would like to address staff and provide a framework for some better practices they can engage in… the more we can do to close the gap and make a more positive experience for everyone... the better the mental health of people accessing services will be in the long term’.

Arlie- ‘Their (our volunteers) experiences will ring true for a lot of people out there, and we hope that by sharing those stories, we can give a voice to the people of West Yorkshire, empower them and create change through this podcast series’.


The importance of communication and what good person-centred care feels like came through strongly in this episode. Listen to James and Debbie share their first-hand experiences of navigating the mental health system when in crisis. Staff can expect to hear tangible recommendations to improve their practice.

Main takeaways from the volunteers' discussions:

  • The volunteers suggested to focus on the individual patient and be person-centred. Don’t make assumptions about people but make people feel listened to and validated. This will foster a sense of hope in people.
  • Normalise ‘bad days’ and realise that people have different baselines on what their ‘normal’ is. It’s okay to not be okay all the time, and staff normalising this can make it that little bit easier to get through difficult times.
  • Please always believe people – when they are brave and strong enough to approach services, it’s important to believe, listen and validate their experiences in that moment.