+44 (0)7487 494 353 enquiries@stormskillstraining.com

Open courses for individuals

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.

If you work on the frontline and wish to enhance your skills and confidence in self-harm and suicide prevention, but don’t work for an organisation with Storm Skills Training in place, our open courses could be for you.    

Who are Storm Skills Training?

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise that exists to benefit the suicide prevention community by delivering high-quality skills training. Our ongoing success to has a positive impact on the wider suicide prevention community.

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

Our unique focus on skills, research, and quality

Our unique focus is on skills, and we have research to support its effectiveness.

We take what we know 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 level of skills development, which includes filmed skills practice for the more advanced courses.

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

 

Storm Skills Training is proven to be effective

Research lies at the heart of Storm Skills Training and 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.

We deliver high quality training that makes a difference and has an impact.

Who are open courses designed for?

Storm Skills Training Open Courses are for individuals working on the frontline that are in regular contact with people in distress, and/or have vulnerability to self-harm and suicide. This can be at the complex end of mental health, primary care, social care, healthcare, education settings, prisons, and lots of other settings.

We understand the pressures of working at the frontline and want to ensure you leave our course feeling more confident in their skills, with up-to-date knowledge and the ability to apply it in practice.

Self-harm and suicide prevention is everyone’s business. That’s why it’s important that everyone has the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to respond compassionately and within the boundaries of their role and organisation.

Our Open Courses could also be an option for smaller organisations who are unable to commission Storm Skills Training, or for organisations who are considering commissioning Storm Skills Training, to experience the course. We are mindful that some organisations may be best suited to our small group or cascade model, please be aware that organisations can only have six individuals attend our Open Courses per year. If you have any questions about this, please let us know, we’re always here to help.

Applications are now open for our Advanced course

Skills Training in Self-harm and Suicide Prevention – Advanced Course (Version 5) is now ready. Our advanced course is for those who require the highest level of skill in working with people to prevent suicide and self-harmRead on to find out more about this training offering.

We cover a person-centered approach to engagement, psychosocial assessment, working with the support network, formulation, and safety planning. The course also includes a skill set focussed on working with challenges to recovery.

If you work on the frontline and these elements are part of your practice, then this could be the right course for you. (Other levels are in the pipeline.)

Our Skills Training in Self-harm and Suicide Prevention – Advanced Course (V5) is now ready. Read on to find out more about this training offering. 

If you’re not sure this is the right course for you, please send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.

Course aim

To enhance skills and confidence in self-harm and suicide prevention using a compassionate and collaborative approach.

Course objectives

Course objectives for our three day advanced course are:

To identify and evaluate communication skills in:

 

  • Using a compassionate and collaborative approach with a person in distress
  • Establishing and building rapport with a person in distress
  • Assessment of suicide and self-harm using a psychosocial perspective
  • Engaging and supporting the distressed person’s support network
  • Collaborative formulation including an exploration of strengths and vulnerabilities
  • Working collaboratively to create a safety plan
  • Compassionately and collaboratively reviewing the assessment, formulation, and safety plan when there are challenges to recovery
  • Ensuring the support network is engaged and supported when there are challenges to recovery
  • Teaching a problem-solving technique

What is the Storm Skills Training learning model?

As you may guess from our name, our focus is very much on skills – the practical side of self-harm and suicide prevention. What to say and how to say it (and even a little bit of what not to say).  The applied nature of our course is what team members enjoy most about our courses.

This practical approach to training is what the evidence demonstrates is effective in increasing skills confidence and knowledge, it is the foundation of the Storm Skills Training learning model.   

The model includes opportunities for your team to:

  • Participate in a group discussion
  • Learn about research, best practice, and lived experience
  • Watch and feedback on a demonstration of the skills in a video
  • Participate in skills practice (some of these are filmed) – including small group self-reflection and feedback
  • Whole group film playback – including self-reflection and group feedback

The training is dynamic, interactive, and challenging. All of our consultants are highly experienced in both working on the frontline and facilitating training.

Get in Touch >

    Group size, venue, and duration

    • Group size: Maximum of eight participants per course
    • Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams
    • Duration: Three days, 9:15am (for a 9:30am sharp start) to 4:30pm 

    Emotional safety

    For learning purposes, our training contains emotive topics – including suicide, self-harm, and other areas that may lead to distress (for example domestic violence, financial issues, and fertility issues). These topics can impact some participants, and sometimes this can be unexpected. 

    We acknowledge that the Storm Skills Training learning model can push people outside their comfort zone. We know our training is effective, but it is an intensive course and can be exhausting. If you have any concerns about the learning model, please get in touch.

    On the day, our team will work with you and others in the group towards: 

    • Creating a safe and supportive learning environment 
    • Encouraging your participation and development 

    We are always mindful of and responsive to the emotional safety of participants during the course but, we ask that before you register for the training you consider:  

    • Your own emotional health, particularly if you have recently been impacted either professionally or personally by suicide, self-harm and other related topics.  
    • What you would do if you were emotionally impacted or affected before, during or after the course, and who you would contact for support 

    Now may not be the right time to attend the course, and that’s okay – there will be future courses when you’re ready. We understand circumstances change – if you have registered for the course and no longer feel it is the right time for you, please let us know. 

    Dates available

    For those working with children and young adults (up to 25 years old):

    • 6th – 8th November 2023
    • 24th – 26th April 2024 

    For those working with adults: 

    • 24th – 26th January 2024
    • 22nd – 24th July 2024 

    Cost

    £630 + VAT (£756 including VAT).

    Our Open Courses could also be an option for smaller organisations who are unable to commission Storm Skills Training, or for organisations who are considering commissioning Storm Skills Training, to experience the course. We are mindful that some organisations may be best suited to our small group or cascade model, please be aware that organisations can only have six individuals attend our Open Courses per year. If you have any questions about this, please let us know, we’re always here to help. 

    How to book your place

    We’ve made the booking process available online. Please use the links below.

    Children and Young Adults course dates:

    Adults course dates:

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

    What skills are covered in the courses?

    We want to work with you towards person-centred self-harm and suicide prevention and enhanced patient safety.

    Course aim: To enhance skills and confidence in self-harm and suicide prevention using a compassionate and collaborative approach.

    Course objectives for our three day advanced course are:

    To demonstrate, identify and evaluate communication skills in: 

    • Using a compassionate and collaborative approach with a person in distress
    • Establishing and building rapport with a person in distress
    • Assessment of suicide and self-harm using a psychosocial perspective
    • Engaging and supporting the distressed person’s support network
    • Collaborative formulation including an exploration of strengths and vulnerabilities
    • Working collaboratively to create a safety plan
    • Compassionately and collaboratively reviewing the assessment, formulation, and safety plan when there are challenges to recovery
    • Ensuring the support network is engaged and supported when there are challenges to recovery
    • Teaching a problem-solving technique

    Get in touch >

    What is the Storm Skills Training learning model?

    As you may guess from our name, our focus is very much on skills – the practical side of self-harm and suicide prevention. What to say and how to say it (and even a little bit of what not to say).  The applied nature of our course is what team members enjoy most about our courses.

    This practical approach to training is what the evidence demonstrates is effective in increasing skills confidence and knowledge, it is the foundation of the Storm Skills Training learning model.   

    The model includes opportunities for your team to:

    • Participate in a group discussion
    • Learn about research, best practice, and lived experience
    • Watch and feedback on a demonstration of the skills in a video
    • Participate in skills practice (some of these are filmed) – including small group self-reflection and feedback
    • Whole group film playback – including self-reflection and group feedback

    The training is dynamic, interactive, and challenging. All of our consultants are highly experienced in both working on the frontline and facilitating training.

    Get in Touch >

    Who are Storm Skills Training courses designed for?

    Storm Skills Training is designed for teams and individuals working on the frontline that are in regular contact with people in distress, and/or have vulnerability to self-harm and suicide. This can be at the complex end of mental health, primary care, social care, healthcare, education settings, prisons and lots of other settings.

    We understand the pressures of working at the frontline and want to ensure your team leave our course feeling more confident in their skills, with up to date knowledge and the ability to apply it in practice.

    Self-harm and suicide prevention is everyone’s business. That’s why it’s important that everyone has the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to respond compassionately and within the boundaries of their role and organisation.

      Get in Touch >

      Are there different course levels?

      Storm Skills Training in Self-harm and Suicide Prevention has three levels – Advanced, Intermediate, and Foundation – to reflect the roles and responsibilities of different members of your team.

      The levels are based on NICE guidance which refers specifically to mental health professionals, other health and social care, and all other team members.

      Our advanced course is ready. This covers a person-centered approach to engagement, assessment, working with the support network, formulation, and safety planning.

      If these elements are part of your practice, then this could be the right level. Other levels are in the pipeline.

      We are working alongside our community to understand the needs of different groups. Currently we are working towards two additional course levels. This is changing and evolving as we learn more from you.

      Intermediate: most likely focusing on the needs of health and social care teams (as per the Nice Guidance (2022) and other roles with significant safeguarding responsibilities

      Foundation: everyone that works on the frontline and has contact with people in distress on a regular basis

      Get in Touch >

      Are Storm Skills Training courses accredited?

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

      Get in Touch >

      Who will deliver my Storm Skills Training course?

      One of our passionate and highly skilled consultants will deliver the training. They will help you to enhance your knowledge and skills to reduce the incidence and impact of self-harm and suicide. They all have extensive knowledge and experience in suicide prevention and will work with you to teach you practical skills that you can use in real-life situations.

      Learn more about our consultants >

      Is training in person or online?

      All of our Open Courses courses are delivered online. The training will be facilitated by an experienced consultant and is focused on the group learning together.

      The research that supports the efficacy of Storm Skills Training has been carried out in face-to-face training. We continue to deliver face-to-face. However, during the pandemic we were able to make the transition to online training, and this is now part of our offer.

      Content, learning outcomes and duration are the same as our face to face courses.

      Get in Touch >

      How many people can attend a Storm Skills Training course?

      Our training model uses small groups of up to eight to maximise facilitation of learning and skills development, and to prioritise emotional safety. This means that your consultant can maintain a safe learning environment whilst attending to each individual’s level of knowledge and experience.

      Get in Touch >

      What should I expect from Storm Skills Training?

      We are proud to be a not-for-profit social enterprise that is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion. We believe that our differences make us stronger.

      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, 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 toward less 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.

      Get in Touch >

      Is the Storm Skills Training package kept up to date?

      Our community has a diverse range of needs, so we continually improve our training approach and content to match their requirements.

      We do this by keeping our training package up to date so that it reflects the latest research, guidance, best practice, and lived experience knowledge (including the latest NICE Guidance, published in September 2022).

      Feedback is extremely important to us, so we regularly reach out to our customers and consultants for feedback to make sure we continue to deliver an exceptional training experience.

      Get in Touch >

      The research supports Storm Skills Training’s effectiveness across a range of audiences including:

      Health and social care

      Mental health teams

      Schools and higher education

      Prisons

      Storm Skills Training: Kindness speech bubble icon

      Primary care

      What our customers say about our training:

      Testimonial 14
      "Excellent training opportunity, very informative presentations and booklets. Excellent opportunities to learn and listen from ...
      Read More
      Roisin
      Family Support Worker
      "Excellent training opportunity, very informative presentations and booklets. Excellent opportunities to learn and listen from other areas of experience. Excellent facilitator."
      Testimonial 14
      Roisin
      Family Support Worker
      Testimonial 13
      "[Our facilitator] did a very good job facilitating training for individuals with a broad range ...
      Read More
      Meryl
      Clinical Psychologist
      "[Our facilitator] did a very good job facilitating training for individuals with a broad range of knowledge and experience levels. The Storm training provided good hands on experience for practicing the skills required. It left me feeling much more confident to deal with the process of assessing and managing self-harm and suicide."
      Testimonial 13
      Meryl
      Clinical Psychologist
      Testimonial 12
      "Good framework for institutional approach to risk management and practical on the ground skills and ...
      Read More
      Head of Wellbeing
      At a University in the UK
      "Good framework for institutional approach to risk management and practical on the ground skills and techniques for mental health/security/pastoral staff and those responding to students who are distressed."
      Testimonial 12
      Head of Wellbeing
      At a University in the UK
      Testimonial 11
      "The training provided lots of useful discussions for how we could put skills into practice ...
      Read More
      Laura
      Clinical Psychologist
      "The training provided lots of useful discussions for how we could put skills into practice for our client group. Thank you!!!"
      Testimonial 11
      Laura
      Clinical Psychologist
      Testimonial 10
      "Really useful and reassuring course on primary care and assessment and management of suicide risk/...
      Read More
      Dr. Palmer
      GP
      "Really useful and reassuring course on primary care and assessment and management of suicide risk/self-harm."
      Testimonial 10
      Dr. Palmer
      GP
      Testimonial 9
      "Interactive and engaging sessions, useful opportunities for self reflection and skill development. Lovely & respectful ...
      Read More
      Jade
      CAMHS Practitioner
      "Interactive and engaging sessions, useful opportunities for self reflection and skill development. Lovely & respectful facilitator."
      Testimonial 9
      Jade
      CAMHS Practitioner
      Testimonial 8
      "[Our facilitator] was really enthusiastic about the topic and managed to engage with the whole ...
      Read More
      Dr. Narhlya
      GP
      "[Our facilitator] was really enthusiastic about the topic and managed to engage with the whole group. This could have been a 'boring' topic but it was made relevant and engaging."
      Testimonial 8
      Dr. Narhlya
      GP
      Testimonial 7
      "An invaluable course for anyone working in the field of mental health."
      Vanessa
      Counsellor at an NHS Foundation Trust
      "An invaluable course for anyone working in the field of mental health."
      Testimonial 7
      Vanessa
      Counsellor at an NHS Foundation Trust
      Testimonial 6
      "Exactly what we wanted! [Our facilitator] encouraged us to relate the learning to our work ...
      Read More
      CEO
      Charitable Organisation
      "Exactly what we wanted! [Our facilitator] encouraged us to relate the learning to our work situation and made it all less scary."
      Testimonial 6
      CEO
      Charitable Organisation
      Testimonial 5
      "A truly immense week. Very thought-provoking. Challenging at times, but so worth it. I have ...
      Read More
      Janice
      Government Ward Manager
      "A truly immense week. Very thought-provoking. Challenging at times, but so worth it. I have acquired the confidence to begin those 'tricky' conversations without fear of making matters worse. And most importantly, I have a greater understanding of self-harm."
      Testimonial 5
      Janice
      Government Ward Manager
      Testimonial 4
      “Thoroughly enjoyable with positive learning. A sometimes difficult emotive area made very manageable with...
      Read More
      Joanne
      Clinical Placement Co-ordinator
      “Thoroughly enjoyable with positive learning. A sometimes difficult emotive area made very manageable with extremely comprehensive training. I felt it instilled confidence in my ability to deliver safe training and support individuals undertaking the training.”
      Testimonial 4
      Joanne
      Clinical Placement Co-ordinator
      Testimonial 3
      "I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Storm training. It is in my opinion an essential requirement ...
      Read More
      Tony
      Trainer at an NHS Foundation Trust
      "I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Storm training. It is in my opinion an essential requirement for front-line public service providers!"
      Testimonial 3
      Tony
      Trainer at an NHS Foundation Trust
      Testimonial 2
      "The STORM ® training has helped me so much. I feel more confident in...
      Read More
      Linda
      Counsellor
      "The STORM® training has helped me so much. I feel more confident in working with low mood and high risk clients. I have learned skills and gained practical tools to help with my practice and I would highly recommend this training. I think it will make a real difference to my clients. It was interesting and enjoyable - invaluable."
      Testimonial 2
      Linda
      Counsellor
      Testimonial 1
      "Really enjoyable course, [our facilitator] put the group at ease from the very beginning. Lots ...
      Read More
      Training Team Manager
      NHS Foundation Trust
      "Really enjoyable course, [our facilitator] put the group at ease from the very beginning. Lots of information to take in, but delivered in a way that flowed. Plenty of time for practice of skills and the role plays were facilitated in a way that made people feel comfortable. Looking forward to putting my newly acquired skills in to practice."
      Testimonial 1
      Training Team Manager
      NHS Foundation Trust

      Looking for more information?

      If you are interested in learning more about our other training packages, please reach out to us.

      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.

      storm skills training logo

      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.

      storm skills training logo

      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. 

      storm skills training logo

      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