Wednesday 27 May 2020

17 Online Suicide Awareness Courses and Podcasts

A recent BBC news article reported that since the coronavirus lockdown began in the UK more than half a million people have accessed the twenty-minute suicide awareness course run by the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA).

Joe Rafferty from ZSA said the true impact of Covid-19 on mental health will not become clear until the pandemic is over, but that “the stress and worry of the coronavirus is bound to have impacted people’s mental health.” He added that “Suicide is a serious public health issue and every single death by suicide devastates families, friends and communities”.

According to the Office for National Statistics, more than 6,500 suicides were registered in the UK in 2018, with three-quarters of them among men. The suicide prevention charity Grassroots offers the following statistics:

In the UK, 1 in 5 think about suicide in their lifetime, which means there are 4 people who can help.

1 in 4 experience mental ill-health in their lifetime, which means there is nothing unusual about having difficulties with mental health.

1 in 15 attempt suicide in their lifetime. Through education and training, we can better reach out to people when they’re at their most vulnerable.

This article presents a selection of online suicide awareness courses and podcasts for anyone who wants to learn about this challenging subject that is a lived reality for many. No course or podcast can make you an expert overnight. You will, however, be better equipped to help someone who may be considering suicide and be in need of support. Many of these resources also address wider issues including stigma and the importance of open communication.

Online Suicide Awareness Training

ZSA Gateway Module (5–10 minutes) — Free
Partly funded by the Department of Health, the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) has reached a total of one million participants since its launch in 2017. This short module presents “a very brief introduction to suicide awareness. In just 5–10 minutes you could learn skills to help someone considering suicide. It will give you tips on how to approach someone if you are worried they may be considering taking their own life.”

ZSA Suicide Awareness Training (20 minutes) — Free
This course offers “a more in-depth suicide awareness training session which takes approximately 20 minutes. It aims to give you the skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide. It focuses on breaking stigma and encouraging open conversations.”

Stay Alive app — Free
Stay Alive is a mobile app offered by Grassroots, “a small, Brighton based charity with a simple but powerful goal: that no one should have to contemplate suicide alone.”

Our free suicide prevention resource for the UK is packed with useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.

Stay Alive is available on Google Play and the Apple Store.

Real Talk Film (15 minutes) — Free
This course offers an “introduction to conversations supporting someone with suicidal thoughts. Viewer interaction influences the conversation and safely explores how to support someone in crisis.”

We Need To Talk About Suicide (90 minutes) — Free
E-Learning module from Health Education England covering who is at risk of suicide, warning signs those people might display and what you can say in response. The module also provides links to national support resources.”

LivingWorks – Start (1 hour) — £12
This course offers “Foundational skills to help someone who is thinking about suicide connect to life-saving help. Opportunities to practice skills in a variety of conversation scenarios.”

Mental Health First Aid Half-day Webinar (4 hours) — £££
This course “offers an understanding of what mental health is and how to challenge stigma; a basic knowledge of some common mental health issues; an introduction to looking after your own mental health and maintaining wellbeing; confidence to support someone in distress or who may be experiencing a mental health issue.” Group of 8–25 learners.

Suicide First Aid Webinar (2 hours) — £££
This course covers: “The impact and value of personal and professional experience with suicide; Barriers that prevent people at risk seeking help; Prevalence of suicide thoughts and suicidal behaviours; The Signs of Suicide and the Suicide-Safety Guide; Partnership working and community resources.” Group of 10–20 learners.

QPR Gatekeeper Training (60 minutes) — $29.95
QPR Gatekeeper training (the acronym stands for Question, Persuade, Refer) is one of several training programs developed by the QPR Institute. The course fee includes the e-book Suicide: the Forever Decision, by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.

esuicideTALK (2 hour) — $20
This course is a one–two hour exploration in suicide awareness.

It is intended for all members of a community, ages 15 and up. Organized around the question ‘should we talk about suicide?’ this program provides a structure in which session members can safely explore some of the most challenging attitudinal issues about suicide, and encourages every member to find a part that they can play in preventing suicide.

esuicideTALK is designed to suit your schedule and lifestyle. You can take esuicideTALK on any computer with an Internet connection. esuicideTALK is aimed at all members and groups in a community. Its goal is to help make direct, open and honest talk about suicide easier.

Understanding Suicide and Suicide Prevention Strategies in a Global Context (12 hours)
On this course, “you will gain a broader understanding of suicide as a worldwide issue. You will analyse global suicide rates and patterns and explore common risk factors. You will explore the social and cultural factors that can influence suicidal behaviour. You will also look at suicide prevention strategies and learn how these can be enforced in communities.” 12 hours over 3 weeks

Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (2 hours) — Free
This course shows how “reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. This course is about how to reduce access to the methods people use to kill themselves. It covers who needs lethal means counseling and how to work with people at risk for suicide — and their families — to reduce access.”

Dealing with Distress: Working with Suicide and Self-Harm Online Training — £35 (free taster session)
This course “explores how to support people in distress and at risk of suicide or self-harm. Aimed at counsellors and psychotherapists, it is, however, relevant to a wide range of helping professionals as well as survivors themselves. Lifetime access with 6 hours’ CPD certificate upon completion.”


Papyrus Hopecast
Papyrus Hopecast is a podcast which looks to make suicide part of everyday conversations.

The Center for Suicide Awareness’ Podcast
Podcasts by The Center for Suicide Awareness.

Suicide and Hope
A podcast discussion with Stanford psychologist and suicidologist Rebecca Bernert, PhD.

Let’s Talk about Suicide Prevention
This episode of the Mental Health Foundation podcast comprises interviews with Byron Vincent, a writer, broadcaster and performance artist with lived experience of bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder; Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation; and Linda Liao, Digital Manager at the Mental Health Foundation.

Suicide Crisis Resources

If you are thinking about suicide, read this first.
This powerful piece is a must-read for anyone considering suicide or wanting to understand more about suicidal thinking.

If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional — only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.

Grassroots Crisis and Support
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are in a suicidal crisis, or if you are worried about someone else, Grassroots offers a range of tips, helplines, websites, downloadable resources and other services.


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