Black Lives Matter

Life is the AIM – Suicide prevention gatekeeper training

The developers

LITA was developed by Forward For Life and Common Unity.

We recognise that in today’s uncertain times there is a clear need to provide people from all walks of life with gatekeeper skills training in suicide prevention. But we cannot rely only on face to face training so LITA utilises online training as its approach.

What you will learn:

LITA is a 2-hour online gatekeeper training supports recipients to:

• Understand the impact of suicide
• Have knowledge of how to identify those at risk
• Recognise the value of listening
• Direct those at risk to appropriate support opportunities.

Who is it for?

This online introductory support course is being offered out to organisations and communities across the UK. It provides people with a knowledge base of how to start to support people who may be thinking of suicide. The aim of LITA is to maintain life as an outcome.

Our training is useful for all organisations, big and small. It further supports those organisations where some employees may have attended our SCHEMA or ASIST courses. This means that we can provide organisations with the opportunity for enhanced internal support through a wider skilled workforce.

More information

For further information about LITA or any of our face to face training options please contact Terry Rigby 07585776800 or email info@forwardforlife.org

Our flyer

You can download a copy of the flyer in PDF format by clicking here. 

SCHEMA: An Approach to Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a taboo word in most communities. It’s something we don’t discuss. This is maybe because we are scared that talking about it might put it in someone’s head or maybe because our communities see it as a sinful thing to do bringing shame on the family or the wider community, or maybe because if we tell someone we are thinking about suicide they may think we need to be hospitalised because our mental health isn’t good. There are loads of reasons given for not talking about suicide by the people we work with, but the truth is very different.

By not talking openly about our mental health, our worries, our concerns and even our suicidal thoughts or concerns about others and what they might be thinking we are actually making things worse. We are human beings and are social beings who need to connect – if we don’t connect then we struggle to survive. There is more strength in asking for help than in staying silent; by watching each-others backs we can save lives.


As part of the CCN programme – SCHEMA: An approach to suicide prevention has been designed, developed and delivered locally in Birmingham with very encouraging feedback from participants. Over the space of just one day, delegates learn a six-stage approach to best support a person with suicidal thoughts to stay alive.


SCHEMA has been delivered to NHS employees, front line social care workers, community members, commissioners, bereavement support service providers, faith leaders, counsellors and most recently alongside the Housing Sector working with employees of Trident Group.
Here’s what we are being told about SCHEMA by the delegates….

“All the steps were easy to follow and I’m confident that I can take it and apply it to real life.”

“The training was very informative. I feel so much more confident now regarding suicide.”

“The trainers were very knowledgeable and had a good understanding. I would recommend this training to anyone.”

“Really good training, handouts were brilliant.”

“Great training…Much needed!”

If you want to receive more information on SCHEMA then why not sign up to our mailing list or email us at info@common-unity.org

Suicide – More Harm Done Through Silence

There are a range of commonly held myths about suicide, but one of the most challenging myths is the idea that by openly asking a vulnerable person if they are thinking of suicide might actually encourage suicidal behaviour, or even put the thought into their head.

Evidence has shown though that this couldn’t be further from the truth – In Preventing Suicides: A Global Imperative, The World Health Organisation stated that “Rather than encouraging suicidal behaviour, talking openly gives an individual other options or the time to rethink his/her decision, thereby preventing suicide.” So talking about suicide, be it in a professional or personal setting doesn’t make people think about it as a new option for consideration nor does it encourage a suicidal act and could actually save a life… Infact, one could even argue that not talking about suicide and suicidal thoughts when it presents itself as a possibility means we are less likely to have a reductive impact on the number of suicides across the UK.

So why don’t we talk about it more? We know about the risk of injury and death in road accidents and invest heavily in road safety yet suicides per year outnumber deaths in road accidents by 300% Suicide takes over 6000 lives per year in the UK and the silence that surrounds it because of the stigma associated with it means that suicide and suicidal acts will continue to happen. Thankfully, people are starting to take notice of this devastating issue. Many much needed organisations are being established that provide a range of approaches to breaking the silence around suicide and assisting opportunities for living life.

Common Unity and Forward For Life have recently had the pleasure of working alongside one of these newly established organisations known as The Ollie Foundation. The OLLIE Foundation is a charity set up by three parents who lost their children to suicide. OLLIE stands for One Life Lost Is Enough. OLLIE’s key mission is to ensure the rolling out of both safeTALK and ASIST courses across Hertfordshire, especially targetting professionals and carers who work alongside young people.

As recognised Master Trainers, having trained over 1400 people in the last 3 years, OLLIE approached Forward For Life and Common Unity to provide guidance, support them with their initial set up and provide the high quality suicide prevention training needed until a time when OLLIE have their own licensed trainers in suicide prevention.

Tackling Suicide on the front line in Birmingham

The need to train front line professionals

Over 6000 people die in the UK by suicide each year. So, it’s crucial that frontline professionals and communities are trained in suicide prevention skills.

As part of the Connecting Community Networks Programme in Birmingham, delegates from the Police, Probation and the Fire-Service recently took part in the two day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

This was delivered by Common Unity and Forward For Life.

The Waiting Room

As part of the suicide prevention training programme in Birmingham, The Waiting Room Resource (TWR) keys were distributed. These keys have been a fantastic success across health and social care services with endorsements from The West Midlands Fire Service.

More information

To talk to one of our staff at Common Unity about the training we provide then please get in touch through the following link >>>> https://www.common-unity.org/contact/

So let’s face the facts as we know them….

3 out of every 4 deaths by suicide in England are by men.

Men are struggling. They find it hard to engage with existent mainstream health and social care services and often would prefer to suffer in silence than seek help. So it stands to reason, there is a need to ensure that where services make a greater impact through being man focussed in respect of suicide prevention, then such preventative services and awareness raising opportunities should be developed; and they are; Targeted approaches to preventing suicide amongst men are hot on the agenda across Health and Social Care as rightly they should be…right? But let’s look again because there is something being missed here… or not being highlighted…

If we look at the most recent suicide data for England supplied in September 2016, with a little bit of investigation, there appears to be a clear yet understated fact – the number of women attempting and dying by suicide in England is increasing and nobody seems to be really saying why that might be or what can be done, but it is there – in your face.

So what’s going on?

There are a number of potential reasons why this shift may be occurring, but whilst the time passes for the ‘facts’ to be outed further, we need action and maybe there is a simple way forward for this action. Whilst I accept that there is a need for targeted approaches in respect of suicide prevention for specific groups (such as ManMade), the fact that suicide knows no boundaries in respect of who it affects means that suicide prevention should hold no boundaries as to who engages with it.

Suicide is not an illness and it is not only people with a mental health need that are at risk; It’s not about age, class, gender or sex – but it is about crisis, it is about hopelessness and the person at risk not feeling able to find a way out of the situation other than by suicide. Suicide behaviour effects all walks of life and has a huge negative ripple effect across communities and it is only through a concerted effort across all sectors of our communities and all professions at all levels that we can start to make some headway in reducing the number of people that die by suicide.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please call Samaritans free on 116 123

If you live in the Birmingham area and want to know what local support services are out there then why not check out The Waiting Room

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