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

Host – Arlie (Suicide Prevention Coproduction Project Co-ordinator at Leeds Mind)

Volunteers – Ruth and Alyson

What hope staff will get out of this series:

Ruth – ‘I’m hoping staff will enhance prior knowledge and learning around crisis… I believe we can always learn from past events and circumstances, which is what we are here to do. Learn and support people in the best way we can’.

Alyson – ‘I’m hoping staff will come away with different perspectives… there is nothing better than learning from someone with lived life experience to help inform practice and the way forward’.


Ruth and Alyson share their personal and professional experiences of crisis and supporting people facing mental health challenges. Throughout the episode, they offer their practical tips for staff around keeping people safe, exercising professional curiosity, and exploring options for people in crisis.  

Main takeaways from the volunteers' discussions:

  • The volunteers suggested to consider reframing language when talking about mental health to a strength-based approach, rather than from a deficit perspective. For example, reframing a pain-scale to a comfort scale. Positive language can encourage and empower people on their mental health journey.
  • Exercise professional curiosity when working with people in crisis. Explore the nuance in people’s personal situation, and create an appropriate response/follow-up based on that, rather than a set of predetermined criteria.
  • As a staff member, it isn’t all on you. Spend time with someone in crisis to explore what options are available to them, and what they feel would support them the best. This will look different to everyone.