Isle of Wight residents are being asked to take 20 minutes out of their day today (Tuesday) for World Suicide Prevention Day – to learn the skills that may just save a life.

As members of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA), Butterflies Bereavement Support is urging everyone in the county to mark Today’s World Suicide Prevention Day by taking the time to take their free online suicide prevention training.

A local spokesperson said:

“We’d like everyone in our area to use the time it takes to make a cup of tea to do this training. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone who is suicidal, these are life skills that will teach you to approach difficult conversations with care and understanding and hopefully signpost them to the help they need.”

The training has been developed using the expertise of clinicians and the experience of those who have lived through suicide and uses real-life scenarios to provide the skills to approach those in trouble.

Over 230,000 people have accessed the training since its launch in November 2017 and the Government has pledged to provide £2 million over the next two years to help the ZSA improve suicide prevention in the UK through awareness, training and the development of an innovative digital suicide prevention resource and exploration of cutting edge analytics to predict risk.

A spokesman for ZSA said:

“We know there’s a big difference in people’s attitudes between before and after taking the training. In the 20 minutes it takes to complete the course they change from around 70-80 per cent thinking suicide is inevitable beforehand to only 10 per cent afterwards.

“The training also dispels the myth that talking about suicide can lead people to take their own lives. All the evidence shows that talking to people in the right way decreases the chances of suicide and that’s what this course will teach you to do.”

Over 6,500 suicides were recorded across the UK in 2018 – having a major impact both emotionally and socially on friends, relatives, work colleagues and the local economy.