Suicide Prevention Training – Falkland Isles

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The Falkland Islands (British overseas Territory) an archipelago in the South Atlantic the size of Wales, are located 400 miles off the coast of South America. They are home to an abundance of wildlife, sheep and a small population. There are approximately 3200 people living permanently on the Islands forming a diverse, close-knit community. Living alongside is a transient population of seasonal workers, tourists MOD personnel, fishermen and, during the summer months, wildlife spotting tourists.

There are many benefits of being a small close-knit community, which is in fact essential for survival living in such a remote part of the world as Falkland Islands. When someone is in need of help, the community is there to support them, whether that is on a professional basis with highly skilled services working together to ensure a good outcome, or on a personal level offering practical and emotional support.

In January 2018, Karen Rimicans, Senior Community Psychiatric Nurse, contacted the STORM® team to enquire about whether the training could help create a network of skilled personnel across the community as well as within the hospital. Over a year later, in April 2019, Dr Gill Green, our CEO and Co-founder, took the long trip to deliver a suite of training. She received a very warm and generous welcome having been introduced to some of the wildlife and sampling some of the Islands breath-taking views during her stay.

Gill had the pleasure of meeting and training an audience of highly engaged doctors, nurses, social workers and police personnel. She witnessed strong partnerships across the various services reflecting the necessary collaboration in this close-knit community.

Gill trained 4 of the hospital staff to become STORM® Facilitators. They will continue to roll out Suicide Prevention and Self-harm Mitigation courses along with Suicide Postvention across the Islands. The newly formed Falklands team of STORM® Facilitators completed 6 days of intensive training to master the STORM® content and facilitation skills. The team embraced the training and found it enjoyable. 

Dr. Rebecca Edwards, Chief Medical Officer for the Islands, commented that the facilitator training was;

“an excellent course. Comprehensive, well-structured and extremely well delivered. Thought provoking and relevant”.

Karen further commented that the training would be “very helpful for the community” saying that;

“we (as a team) will be better prepared and confident for [the] future management of supporting any person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts of and self-harm.”

To help the Falkland Islands Team kick start training across the community, Gill delivered ‘Suicide Prevention and Self-harm Mitigation Level 1’ to two groups of mixed professionals. Feedback from the sessions was positive with participants finding the training informative. 

Jo Hooper, Social Worker for Social Services, commented;

“A useful course, helpful structure and advice for risk assessment.”

Gill was moved by the highly dedicated and committed staff who are making a difference in Falkland Islands local community on these uniquely beautiful Islands. The STORM® team hopes that the training delivered will have a significant impact across the community, and we look forward to continuing the strong and positive relationship that has been formed between us.

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