20 March 2017
“I always had suicidal feelings as I grew up. I never got any support to help me cope with these and ended up attempting suicide twice.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have experienced and that’s why I got involved with writing this suicide prevention strategy. Suicide is a scary thing to talk about but this strategy will help to make sure that children and young people’s needs are taken seriously.”
That’s the view of a 20 year old young woman in Sheffield who is one of a number of young people who have helped produce and launch Sheffield’s new Young People’s Suicide Prevention Pathway.
Sheffield City Council’s Every Child Matters 2015 survey shows that over a third of young people in Sheffield in year 10 (aged 14 and 15 years old) have had feelings so bad that felt they couldn’t cope with them. Sheffield City Council has therefore been working with Sheffield Futures, Chilypep, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board to create the strategy to help reduce the risk of suicides and support young people to have good mental health.
The strategy launched last week (Thursday 16 March), is aimed at frontline practitioners to help them support young people at risk of suicide. It is part of a raft of new local initiatives supporting children & young people’s mental health, including:
· A better link between child and adolescent mental health services and schools.
· A one stop shop for advice and counselling service for young people up to the age of 25.
· Training for schools on a range of mental health issues.
· Support for families, friends and those affected by children and young people’s suicide.
· A tool to support practitioners working with young people and domestic abuse.
This comes on top of Sheffield’s existing programme which has seen ten schools provide emotional wellbeing support to its pupils and staff.
Becky, who is quoted above, aged 20, is part of STAMP (Support, Think, Act, Motivate, Participate) a group of young people aged 14-25, facilitated by Chilypep who are funded to involve young people in working to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people across the city as part of Sheffield’s Local Area Transformation Plan. The group has created a film to support the launch of the strategy, as well being involved in developing the strategy itself.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “ We want to create an emotionally healthy and wealthy city and this strategy that builds on our healthy minds work will help us to achieve this.
“Young people have told me that having a safe place to talk and get help early, is a vital part of helping them overcome stress and preventing their problems from getting worse. Through this strategy we will ensure that the support is there for our children and young people to do this.”
The new strategy was launched on 16 March at an event at the Town Hall attended by 200 children and young people professionals.
The film is available online at https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ah7J7bAZnjgEmnE7NY5Z8kXIxjq_