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Self-harm and suicide prevention training

Storm Skills Training is a high-quality, effective self-harm and suicide prevention training package that is supported by a wealth of research, experience, and expertise.

About us

At Storm Skills Training, we’re passionate about having more effective conversations that help reduce distress, and fewer lives lost to self-harm and suicide.

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise that exists to benefit the community by delivering high-quality self-harm and suicide prevention training

Combined with more than 20 years of academic research and experience in training delivery, our active understanding of self-harm and suicide prevention gives you a highly effective training package that is relevant to a range of organisations, systems, professions, and sectors.

Our evidence

Our training is based on academic research, evidence, and best practice, with a focus on real-life experiences.

Research supports the effectiveness of our training across a range of audiences including mental health, health and social care, volunteer workers, schools and higher education, and prisons.

Why choose Storm Skills Training?

Our unique focus on skills, research, and quality

We take what we learn from research, best practice, and lived experience to create our training. We then work with teams and individuals to enhance skills to use this effectively in a conversation with someone in distress – including engagement, assessment, formulation, and safety planning.

Our evidence-based training methodologies give frontline team members the opportunity to practice, reflect, and give and receive feedback on skills in a safe and supportive learning environment. We use the highest standard of skills development, which includes filmed skills practice for the more advanced levels of our courses.

Our training is dynamic and challenging because conversations about self-harm and suicide prevention can be dynamic and challenging.

Learn more about our evidence >

Storm Skills Training is proven to be effective

We deliver high-quality training that makes a difference and has an impact. Studies have shown that our training package is effective in:

– Developing and enhancing skills
– Improving attitudes
– Increasing confidence in helping someone who is in distress

Research supports the effectiveness of our training across a range of audiences including mental health, health and social care, volunteer workers, schools and higher education, and prisons.

Learn more about our evidence >

Our ethical social business model with real social impact

We are proud to be an organisation that is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion. We believe that our differences make us stronger.

We are not for profit and we believe strongly that no one should profit from the distress of others. This is really important, it’s why we became a social enterprise in the first place.

The success of our training benefits the community and we are motivated to make sure that every penny generated helps us toward achieving our vision and mission.

Learn more about our impact >

What to expect from Storm Skills Training

In everything we do, we strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.

We have integrity, and we are a fair, honest, and ethical organisation that people are proud to be associated with. We are committed to excellence and social responsibility, and believe in treating everyone with respect, compassion, and kindness.

By working with us, you’ll be part of a community that is committed to supporting our mission and vision towards fewer lives lost to suicide and self-harm.

Working with our team means that you will receive attention and support throughout your experience with us. We take the time to get to know each of our customers and your specific needs to make sure that we provide training sessions that meet your unique requirements.

We’ll work closely with you to ensure that your team are completely satisfied with the training services that we provide.

Learn more about our training >

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited training

Courses delivered directly by us, including the Train-the-Facilitator and Direct-to-Participant courses, have full Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation with The CPD Certification Service.

Learn more about The CPD Certification Service >

Expanding our social impact

The success of our training benefits the community in two ways:

 

  1. The direct impact of our training on the frontline – enhancing skills and confidence of teams and promoting person-centered collaborative conversations with those in distress and their support network

2. We share our training success: we invest in projects and activities which help to further our mission to reduce the incidence and impact of self-harm and suicide.

Suicide prevention skills training packages for you

We are passionate about working with you to create a compassionate and skilled workforce to prevent suicide – no matter what size of the organisation.

We want to understand your workforce needs and how we can support you to meet these needs.

Sustainability and best use of funds is at our heart. We want to make sure you chose the option right for your team.

Audiences who may be interested in our training packages include:

Health and social care

Mental health teams

Schools and higher education

Prisons

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Primary care

Linda's Story:

Meet Linda Gask: Co-founder

I studied medicine in Edinburgh, before moving to Manchester where I trained in psychiatry. I had both professional and personal interest in mental health, having experienced depression and anxiety myself. I was acutely aware of the need for effective communication to better understand and work with my patients.

Storm Skills Training started as a research project Manchester University funded by the Department of Health in the 1990s. Myself and Richard Morriss developed a training package that demonstrated how using viewing recorded roleplays could actually change people’s behaviour. We first tested our approach in Preston, then across a wider area in South Lancashire.

At that point, we named it Storm Skills Training and we were joined by Gill Green to roll out the delivery of training. Gill further developed Storm as a CIC and it’s wonderful to see how it has grown to where it is today under Bianca and her team.

My passion for many years has been on making mental health support more accessible in primary care. Until the Spring of 2023, I was Presidential lead for primary care at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and I continue to offer advice on the issue.

I moved to Orkney full time in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. I am Chair of a local mental health organisation called the Bilde Trust. As a rural community, we face our own challenges with mental health – it’s great to be involved in making a difference where I live.

Orkney is a wonderful place, unlike anywhere else in Scotland or the UK. I particularly enjoy writing here. After my first book, The Other Side of Silence, was published, I wrote my second (Finding True North) about how moving here positively impacted my own mental health.

My third book will be published at the end of 2024, exploring mental health and feminism. Maybe then I will take it easy, but that’s very hard for me to do!

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Storm Skills Training CIC,

Adamson House, Towers Business Park, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury M20 2YY 

© 2023 Storm Skills Training CIC | Company number: 07726889

A not-for-profit social enterprise delivering high-quality skills training in self-harm and suicide prevention.

Keith's Story

Meet Keith Waters: Non-executive Director

Keith has over 25 years of clinical experience in Liaison psychiatry, self-harm and suicide prevention and was awarded an Honorary Research Fellowship by Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (DHCFT) in 2013.

For many years he was the lead for the Derby site of the Multicentre Study of self-harm in England, a study which he still maintains a very active role in. Until recently he was the Clinical director for self-harm and suicide prevention for the Trust and retains a post within the research team.

Keith is also a Storm Skills Training consultant with many years experience in facilitating, delivering, and supporting Storm Skills Training and has for a number of years held a seat on the National Suicide Prevention Alliance steering group.

He has been the Suicide Prevention manager for the East Midlands and Clinical Advisor for Suicide Prevention with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, developed a business and clinical case for Liaison Psychiatry Services in Derbyshire, and was the clinical advisor for its implementation.

Keith is an experienced trainer, facilitator, and presenter in Self Harm and Suicide prevention and management, locally and nationally in addition to the work with DHCFT and Storm Skills Training, has helped develop and delivered an initially lottery-funded suicide awareness training program across the East Midlands and organised chaired and delivered at numerous nation conferences and events. Keith has also been a joint author on numerous published research works, and chapters in clinical textbooks on self-harm and suicide prevention and has contributed to policy and practice guidance developments locally and nationally.

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Alf's Story

Meet Alf Hill: Non-executive Director

I first encountered Storm Skills Training CIC during my time as a volunteer Business Mentor at Unltd – a charity that supports social enterprises. Co-founder Gill Green was one my mentees in 2010 when Storm Skills Training was still within the University of Manchester and at the beginning of its journey to becoming an independent Community Interest Company.

At our first meeting I asked Gill, “How do you think I can help you?” Gill’s response was “Well… you could explain accounting to me.” We worked together for 18 months to develop Storm Skills Training as a social business. When Storm Skills Training CIC was finally incorporated in 2011, I was invited by Gill and Linda to be a non-executive Director and became Chair of the Board ten years later in 2021.

I’ve had a diverse career; initially as a civil servant, then in senior management and executive and non-executive roles in insurance and reinsurance in the UK and USA, in the corporate sector, and in Lloyd’s of London.

I returned to the public sector initially in adult education then at the Equal Opportunities Commission, later the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

A qualified accountant, I’ve been trustee of several charities, local and national, currently the Yapp Charitable Trust and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

At Storm Skills Training, post-pandemic I feel that we are stronger than ever. I’m excited about the future with our new team with an ambitious plan.

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Gill's Story

Meet Gill Green: Co-founder

My career has taken me from nursing to academic research and finally to the development of Storm Skills Training CIC as a skills training company.

When I was nursing, so many of my patients often expressed that they felt so hopeless that they thought about ending their life. And like so many of my colleagues, I felt ill-equipped to know the right way to respond. It was a dilemma that I wanted to address through skills training – to give fellow healthcare professionals the confidence and practice they needed to have those difficult conversations.

In 1997, it was a chance job advertisement in a national paper for a Trainer and Researcher that introduced me to Storm Skills Training. At the time, I saw the 12-month project, working with Linda Gask at the University of Manchester, as an opportunity to learn new skills to take back to clinical practice. After the project, I stepped away for a few years, remaining in research but working with prisons on a different project. Research was definitely where I wanted to be.

I came back to the University of Manchester in 2003, when Linda and I started to develop the training package we now know as Storm Skills Training. It was important to us to translate the theory into usable, effective practice. I knew that as a healthcare practitioner, it wouldn’t be enough to sit in a room and be ‘taught’ suicide prevention. It is only through practice that we can actually ‘do’ suicide prevention.

I’m looking forward to supporting Bianca in realising her vision for where we go to next – and to exploring even more new directions for my own career. 

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Bianca's Story

Meet Bianca Romanyk: CEO

After 20 years in the mental health field, I am incredibly proud to be CEO of Storm Skills Training.

In my early career as a probationary psychologist working in community mental health, I can remember thinking that I’d like to one day have a role that could influence and impact the lives of many who were in distress. I recall meeting the CEO of the mental health service and being inspired by her and the compassion and empathy she showed those experiencing mental health issues.

Being in a small town in rural Australia I had the privilege of my role spanning across several areas of mental health, including working in an ongoing way with people with severe mental illness and crisis assessment (and being on call). I enjoyed all of it - I loved working with people, building trusting relationships, and working alongside them. I developed a special interest in working with younger adults with complex trauma and was lucky enough to train and be part of the Dialectical Behavioural Team for a short while. All of these experiences in my early career have driven my passion to make a difference for those in distress. I believe it is the quality of the connection that we make with people that makes a difference.

My career took me away from the frontline but rooted deeply in mental health and creating positive change. I found myself sat in a Storm Skills Training session as a trainee facilitator in 2013, Gill was delivering the course. I’d started in a brand-new role, working with schools in Australia to support their communities impacted by suicide. I recall vividly the anxiety of being on film in front of my new colleagues and the relief, value, and benefit the experience gave me. I left the training session feeling so empowered – I knew this course would help teachers and others working in schools to have conversations that made a difference to young people in significant distress. I wanted everyone to have Storm Skills Training!

Life presented itself with an opportunity to move to the UK. In 2014, before I left, Gill returned to Australia, we agreed to meet and talk about the opportunity to work together when I arrived. I arrived in the UK, with my two dogs, on the 7th of August 2015 and started work with Storm Skills Training on World Suicide Prevention Day the next month.

I haven’t looked back, my life here in the UK is lovely! When I’m not working, you’ll find me on my local common with my dogs, Derek and Doris, enjoying the view and nature. Or in my garden having a chat to the plants. I enjoy all things creative. More recently I have become a foster carer and am looking forward to this new life challenge and making a difference to the lives of young people.

I love the Storm Skills Training team, our consultants, and community and am always thinking about how to build and improve on the work we do, to have a positive impact on the world. I know that between us all we can make a real difference to people in distress. That’s what I am most excited about.

I believe passionately that Storm Skills Training helps to save lives. My vision for the future of Storm Skills Training, and our community, is to strive toward a more collaborative, empowering, and person-centred approach to self-harm and suicide prevention. A world where distress is met with compassion, everyone feels empowered to help and the support offered is tailored to the unique needs of people and their stories.

 

 

 

 

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Find support:

If you need help and support please reach out for it, here are some options:

Samaritans (UK)

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Phone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

Visit: samaritans.org

International Association for Suicide Prevention (International)

Visit: findahelpline.com/i/iasp