Relias – Zero Suicide Alliance

Finalist category: Community Impact Award


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Community Impact Award, Finalist, 2018

Inclusive interactive eLearning that helps with suicide prevention.

Interactive eLearning course ‘Suicide, Let’s Talk’ is a collaboration between Relias, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Zero Suicide Alliance. The mission: to reduce the incidence of suicide and the stigma of talking about suicide.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die each year by suicide. In the UK, there were over 6,000 deaths in 2015 alone – an average of 17 per day.  ‘Suicide, Let’s Talk’, looks at what we could do to help prevent suicide; one person and one conversation at a time. The course, available via the Zero Suicide Alliance website, can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection, using a device that supports a web-browser. It features video, custom photography and interactive real-life scenarios that model the skills needed to handle these difficult conversations. The average run time is just 20 minutes and it is fully accessible to those in the D/deaf community – using QR code technology and British Sign Language.

On completing the course, learners are directed to the website for additional resources – booklets, posters etc – designed to help take the conversation offline and into their networks and communities. They can also share on social media and interact with subject matter experts.

The goal of the project is to inspire people into action; to relay the importance of the mission of saving and empowering people to do so. Relias believe that it will save lives; over 6000 people have taken the course so far – that’s one person for each life lost to suicide in the UK. Not only does it empower people to act, but it encourages people to talk openly about mental illness and suicide. Recently, an NHS staffer who had taken the training put her skills into action – having a conversation with a young woman contemplating jumping off a motorway bridge.

As well as individual take up, the course is being leveraged across organizations of all types, from higher education to construction. Angela Samata, a well-known suicide prevention advocate, shares it as part of her suicide prevention toolkit. During a visit to Styal Women’s Prison in Cheshire, they requested to use the training with all 40 new prison officers. Going forwards, Mersey Care has contracted Relias to build a follow-up course for their staff. Together, they plan to survey a subset of learners regarding their experiences having conversations after taking the course.


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