Suicide prevention approach presented to Health Education England


Students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton have presented a pioneering suicide prevention project to a panel of health experts and leaders who are reviewing the wellbeing of NHS workers.

A report is currently being compiled by Sir Keith Pearson from Health Education England into the mental wellbeing of staff and learners in the NHS. It is due to be presented to the Secretary of State for Health in December 2018.

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing Clare Dickens, who pioneered the University’s award-winning Three Minutes to Save a Life programme, and two nursing students were invited to present information about the project at a review of evidence, on Tuesday, 4 September 2018.

Three Minutes to Save a Life workshops are dedicated to tackling the issues of suicide, self-harming and emotional resilience.

The programme is designed provide to support members of the community who may experience suicidal thoughts. More than 800 staff and students – including security, caretaking and academics that have regular contact with students – have been trained to recognise early warning signs in at-risk students and how they can escalate concerns proportionately and compassionately.

The strategy has moved along and students on nursing and other health courses at Wolverhampton now receive the training as part of their curriculum, to improve their confidence and clinical skills, as well as showing due regard to their own wellbeing whilst studying and beyond. 

Jordan Bridges, a newly qualified Mental Health Nurse from the University, said: “It was a privilege to represent the University at the panel and discuss how the Three Minutes to Save a Life training has helped me develop my career. As a newly qualified nurse, the training has enabled me take the knowledge out into practice and ensure that my colleagues, as well as patients, are looked after by developing a co-produced safety plan that will ensure every individual has the right support, compassion and hope when dealing with life’s stresses.”

Third year Mental Health nursing student, Richard Jones, said: “This humbling experience permitted me to express my experiences as a current student nurse. The panel were so warm and accommodating and I felt my voice was heard.

“I genuinely believe that the Three Minutes to Save a Life training is vital in any students’ journey. The training has developed my understanding of my own distress and that of others, with a confidence and commitment to do something about it. The approach is heavily steeped in scientific and theoretical principles of compassion which has allowed me to go forward with a refreshed confidence.”

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, Clare Dickens, added: “What was most rewarding about the experience was to see two of our students flourish in an environment that no doubt provoked anxiety. They shared their experiences of studying nursing, the rewards and the challenges as well as how they found their experience of receiving Three Minutes to Save a Life training as part of their curriculum.

“They did themselves, nursing and the University very proud in their exemplary professionalism and articulation. Sir Keith Pearson concluded the questioning in commenting that the panel represented some senior professionals and leads in health this country, and if this is the standard of professionals who we are leaving our NHS to, he is assured it is in safe hands.”

Further information about studying nursing.

Further information

Picture caption: From left to right Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing Clare Dickens, Richard Jones third year Mental Health nursing Student (Degree route), Sir Keith Pearson Health Education England and Chair of the review and Jordan Bridges, newly qualified Mental Health Nurse and Graduate of 2018.

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Thursday, 06 September 2018

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