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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS to showcase suicide prevention project for carers across the UK

An innovative project designed to reduce suicides by making sure high-risk service users and their carers are fully involved in effective safety planning is to be showcased nationally by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Clinical Psychologist Deirdre Williams and Catherine Phillips, Carers Lead and Safety Planning Trainer, will hold a workshop on ‘Stepping Back Safely’ at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance’s (NSPA) annual conference on January 28.

The NSFT s anticipating a 20pc spike in need for their services, due to the effect of lockdown on mental health. (38826645)
The NSFT s anticipating a 20pc spike in need for their services, due to the effect of lockdown on mental health. (38826645)

During the event, they will explain more about how the initiative aims to keep people safe by managing the risk of suicide or serious self-harm, before describing how it equips carers with the tools they need to support the person they care for, look after themselves and build their own resilience.

As well as sharing the materials they have developed to embed the approach across NSFT, the duo will also speak to representatives from other trusts to find out more about similar carer involvement initiatives which are happening elsewhere in the country.

“We were delighted to receive the invitation to speak at the conference and be given the chance to showcase the innovative work which is taking place at NSFT to a wider audience,” said Dr Williams. “To embrace and involve carers in this way is a real step forward for the Trust which will have a really positive impact on helping to keep our service users safe, and is also a key element of our suicide prevention strategy.

“What is so unique about our approach is that it involves the whole system which is in place around the service user, and encourages clinicians, high risk service users and carers to work together to collaboratively create a robust safety plan.

“During the conference, we will be sharing our experience of trialling Stepping Back Safely before explaining more about the work we are doing to roll it out more widely so that we can achieve our ultimate aim of saving lives by successfully managing risk.”

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