A campaign launched last year by The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to encourage Londoners to access suicide prevention training has surpassed its target of 100,000 participants, writes Simon Throssell…
The #ZeroSuicideLDN campaign assists Londoners in having more direct and honest conversations about suicide through free, online training.
Developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance, the twenty minute program helps participants to play their part in saving lives in a city where more than twelve people a week take their own life.
More than 135,000 people have accessed the training after a surge in the number of participants during and after lockdown; a number that has exceeded the organisers’ original goal of 100,000 participants.
The program replaces quiz-based questions with real life stories and scenario videos from a range of ages, ethnicities and suicidal issues. Each clip describes potential warning signs and teaches participants how to feel comfortable when talking with loved ones, friends or colleagues about suicide and mental health.
The Mayor of London has also taken part and is encouraging more people to do the same and help make London a ‘zero suicide city’.
He said: “Suicide is a tragedy, both for those who take their own life and for the loved ones they leave behind, and I am committed to doing everything in my power to reduce the number of suicides in our city.
“That is why I am proud many Londoners have joined me in taking Zero Suicide London’s online suicide prevention training to help play their part in saving lives and to let those who may be struggling know they are not alone.
“These challenging times are taking a toll on many people’s wellbeing so I encourage every Londoner to consider taking the training. Now, more than ever, it is vital we come together to break the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health.”
This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, which took place last Thursday came at a time when Londoners are experiencing the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on their mental health. A virtual panel discussion examining the links between digital media, suicide prevention and social isolation was broadcast at on the Thrive LDN website and YouTube channel. The panel chaired by Dr Phil Moore, co-chair of the Thrive LDN Suicide Prevention Group and featured members from The Zero Suicide Alliance, the Molly Rose Foundation, PAPYRUS, and The Sunflower Project.
Dr Geraldine Strathdee, co-founder of Zero Suicide Alliance said: “I’m delighted the alliance’s partnership with the Mayor of London and Thrive LDN has meant that so many Londoners have learnt how to best spot the signs that any of our friends, colleagues or loved ones may be in crisis, and now have the skills and confidence to support them seek help.
“The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting free suicide prevention training which is accessible to all. Everyone, everywhere, in every part of our communities can take action.”
To find out more and access the suicide prevention training, visit www.thriveldn.co.uk/zerosuicideldn