LISTEN for suicide prevention
It can be hard to talk about our feelings. When we feel most alone is when we need to connect.
LISTEN for suicide prevention is a helpful resource written for and by people with lived experience of suicidal thoughts and those who have cared for and supported them.
LISTEN explores ways of managing suicidal thoughts and feelings. It provides a step by step process for helping others connect with someone in distress, reaching out with kindness and compassion, saving lives.
Connecting and sharing our worries and thoughts can help us get through difficult times, to see our problems in a different way. It can help us to slow down our thoughts and begin to explore other solutions. Connecting with ourselves, giving ourselves time and the belief that we are worthy of being cared about, worthy of support and help. Connecting with others, by reaching out and talking to someone we can trust.
It can be very distressing when someone we care about feels suicidal and uncomfortable to start a conversation. Reaching out with kindness and compassion and connecting with someone in distress can make all the difference and can save lives.
LISTEN for suicide prevention uses the coproduced LISTEN model for crisis support, in easy to read steps providing a helpful approach that anyone can use to support themselves or someone they care about to start a conversation about suicidal thoughts. Service users in Suffolk, who had lived experience of extreme distress and suicidal thoughts worked with mental health professionals in 2013 to design the LISTEN model.
LISTEN has grown to be the model for mental health crisis care in Suffolk. It has been endorsed by Skills for Care, and by 2020 is now embedded in the Suffolk mental health crisis response and in the models of crisis care for mental health transformation, for which the new services commence in 2021.
LISTEN is an acronym that sets emphasises the value of listening alongside the steps for supporting someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Although the LISTEN model is used by professionals, the steps provided in our coproduced publication are helpful for everyone and can guide us through a conversation with our family member, friend or anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings of not being able to carry on.