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University Quarter by Kexgill encourages Hull companies to offer suicide prevention training to staff

By 25th August 2020 No Comments

A Hull student accommodation provider is encouraging other businesses in the city to offer suicide prevention training to staff, as part of a region-wide campaign led by local NHS and council organisations.

The #TalkSuicide campaign encourages people to complete a FREE 20-minute suicide prevention training programme, which is available at www.talksuicide.co.uk. Businesses are also encouraged to offer the training to their staff and can access support and resources at www.talksuicide.co.uk/employers.

People who complete the training are taught how to:

  • Identify the signs of when someone might be suffering from suicidal thoughts.
  • Feel comfortable speaking out about suicide in a supportive manner. 
  • Signpost anyone suffering to the correct services and support. 

The campaign is led by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership – whose member organisations include Hull City Council, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

University Quarter by Kexgill, which has been providing student accommodation in Hull since 1978, became ambassadors for the #TalkSuicide campaign last year when they encouraged their staff to complete the suicide prevention training.

Kexgill’s lettings team and cleaners were encouraged to complete the training because they speak to students on a daily basis. A short video has been created to capture Kexgill’s employees’ experiences of completing the training.

Elliot Becker, Head of Brand at University Quarter by Kexgill, said: “With students being our core customers, we’re aware that being away from home for the first time to go to university is an important time for them so they need the right support. So we thought it was important for our staff to be trained to know what to say to any students who needed support.

“Our lettings team jumped at the opportunity to complete the training because they know how important it is to offer support. There was no persuasion needed, they were all really happy to do the training.

“I’d highly recommend that staff at other companies in Hull do the training. It’s only half an hour out of your day, and it’s better to have the training and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

Dan Allison, Branch Manager, said: “It was pretty easy decision to do the training because I know people who have experienced mental health issues, as I’m sure we all have, and I wanted to be able to provide as much support to our students as possible so I thought I could do with more guidance on how to help them in the correct way.

“I thought the training was great, I thought it was structured brilliantly with the different scenarios for different people – work colleagues, family members and strangers. I found it very easy to follow and very clear on what you should and shouldn’t do.

There were 6,507 registered suicides in the UK in 2018 – which amounts to one death by suicide every 80 minutes. Yorkshire and Humber had some of the highest rates of suicide in England in 2018. One in six employees will experience depression, anxiety or unmanageable stress in the workplace.

Jo Kent, Suicide Prevention Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “I want to thank every member of staff at University Quarter by Kexgill who took 20 minutes out of their day to complete the suicide prevention training. In Humber, Coast and Vale we are working collaboratively with a number of organisations, including local businesses, to prevent suicides from happening in our communities.

“The suicide prevention training is integral to this work as those who complete the training can make a real difference in their communities, simply by being better placed to identify those people who might be suffering from suicidal thoughts, knowing what to say to them in these circumstances, and signposting them to the most appropriate services.”

Are you an employer wanting to offer suicide prevention training to your staff? Request your FREE training pack at talksuicide.co.uk/request-a-pack/

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