Connecting with People is evidence-based training in suicide and self harm prevention. It aims to increase empathy, reduce stigma and enhance participants’ ability to compassionately respond to someone who has suicidal thoughts or following self harm. This programme supports the development of a common language, promoting a more integrated response across statutory services, third sector providers and communities.
The training is available as a set of modules. We deliver these directly to your delegates at a venue of your choice. We also work with partners, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, to offer a limited number of individual places on open programmes. To develop long-term capability in organisations, we also offer “train the trainer”. Those trained may then offer Connecting with People across a large organisation or cohort.
Health and social care professionals
Suicide Response part 1
Suicide Response part 2
Self Harm Awareness
Compassion at Work
Train the Trainer
Module 1: Suicide Awareness
This module aims to create empathy and challenge stigma by helping participants develop their understanding of suicidal behaviour, suicide mitigation and promotes their role in suicide prevention.
It is suitable for front line professionals working in health and social care or anyone with a special interest. Different scenarios are used to tailor the training to participants from different backgrounds.
At the end of the module participants will be able to develop a compasionate approach suitable for a demanding and time-pressured environment. They will know their role in suicide prevention and be able to use the resources provided to enhance their assessment of suicidal individuals.
Module 2: Suicide Response part 1
This module covers safe assessment, triage, third sector and community support and co-creation of an immediate safety plan.
It is suitable for any front line professionals working in health and social care with an ongoing relationship with people experiencing suicidal thoughts. Case scenarios are tailored to attendees from different clinical backgrounds to increase relevance.
At the end of the module participants will be able to use the clinical resources to enhance their assessment and safe triage of a suicidal individual. They will have the skills to co-create an immediate safety plan.
Module 3: Suicide Response part 2
This module covers how to develop a collaborative and transparent approach to mitigating suicide risk and how to increase your patient’s resilience to suicidal thoughts. It includes an overview of the science of Human Factors Errors in relation to suicide prevention and how we can help mitigate them. It also provides an overview of science of compassion and its relation to suicide prevention.
It is suitable for front line professionals with an ongoing relationship with people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
At the end of the module participants will be able to create a comprehensive, person-centred bio-psychosocial suicide mitigation plan, collaboratively engage in a comprehensive social support mapping exercise and be able to help their patients develop strategies to increase their resilience to suicidal thoughts. This approach is recommended in the Department of Health National Risk Management Programme - Best practice in managing risk. London: Department of Health; 2007
Module 4: Self Harm Awareness
This module aims to encourage empathy, develop understanding and challenge stigma.
It is suitable for all professionals who have an ongoing relationship with people who self harm and other people who have an interest.
At the end of the module participants will be able to compassionately engage with people who self harm; engage people who self harm in harm minimisation and enable them to explore additional ways of dealing with distress.
Module 5: Emotional Resilience
This module aims to enhance emotional literacy, promote understanding myths and barriers associated with emotional problems, self harm and suicidal thoughts, promote positive ways of dealing with stress and promote help seeking.
It is suitable for the general public, including children over the age of 13, health and social care practitioners and professionals.
At the end of the module participants will know how to define emotional wellbeing and how to promote it. Enhance their emotional literacy and have an understanding of the myths associated with emotional problems and barriers to seeking help. Have an understanding of the myths associated with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and barriers to seeking help and that suicide is preventable. Have an understanding of positive ways to cope with stress or emotional distress. Know where to access further support if they ever need help in the future.
Module 6: Compassion at Work
This module aims to enhance understanding of the positive impact that a compassionate approach can have in the NHS or other health or social care setting. It explores the evidence base for enhanced outcomes through compassion, understanding the barriers to delivering compassionate care and identifying ways to overcome them.
It is suitable for health and social care practitioners and the general public.
At the end of the module participants will be able to understand what can facilitate a compassionate approach; understand how to mitigate the barriers to providing compassionate care in a demanding and time-pressured environment; understand the importance of self care and healthy organisations in order to sustain compassionate practice and reduce burn out.
Module 7: Self-Harm Response
This module aims to provide a range of tools and techniques for health and social care practitioners, service users and carers.
It is suitable for all professionals who have an ongoing relationship with people who self-harm and other people who have an interest.
At the end of the module participants will be able to understand the role of psychological therapies: use the Bank of Hope including problem-solving approach and the ABC approach and how to use it. They will understand ways to develop resilience including mindfulness approaches. Participants will understand the role of social support mapping when co-creating an immediate and long-term Safety Plan and the structure and process of experiencing the co-creating of an immediate and long-term Safety Plan.
Train-the-Trainer Programme (2 days)
This programme is designed to prepare practitioners to train colleagues in Connecting with People modules. It covers both the content of the sessions and facilitation and presentation skills to increase the impact of the training delivery. Attendees will receive a comprehensive trainer pack with all of the materials required to deliver their own Connecting with People training in-house.
It is suitable for experienced clinical practitioners or trainers who have an interest in mental health and have already attended the relevant Connected with People modules. Delivery of the suicide response modules 2 and 3, are only suitable for experienced health and social care practitioners.
At the end of the two day programme, participants will be able to deliver two of the Connecting with People Modules in-house. Once an individual has become a licensed trainer, they can attend 1 day Train-the-Trainer top-up sessions to enable them to deliver two additional Connecting with People Modules.
This licence to offer the training on an unlimited basis is subject to our simple quality standards. This standard of quality must be attained before we grant the licence and a small number of people may not meet this standard. If this is the case, we offer these individuals detailed feedback and the opportunity for a future assessment until the required standard can be met. We reserve the right to revoke the licence if our quality standards are not being maintained. All trainers must attend a short refresher training session every two years. The cost of the refresher training is included in the annual licence fee. Licensed trainers are required to keep a record of people trained for ongoing evaluation purposes.
Train-the-Trainer Top-Up Programme (1 day)
This programme is designed to prepare practitioners to train colleagues in two additional Connecting with People Modules.
It is suitable for Connecting with People Licensed Trainers who have successfully completed the Connecting with People 2 day Train the Trainer programme.
At the end of the 1 day programme participants will be able to deliver two additional Connecting with People Modules in-house.
The licence to deliver these modules which allows the Licensed Trainer to offer the training on an unlimited basis is subject to our simple quality standards. We reserve the right to revoke the licence if our quality standards are not being maintained. Records of those trained must be kept by trainers for ongoing evaluation purposes.
Cole-King A, Lepping P (2010) Personal view: Will the new Government change our approach to risk? BMJ, July. 341: c3890.
Cole-King A, Lepping P (2010) Suicide mitigation: Time for a more realistic approach. BJGP 60: 3-4.
Cole-King, A; Green, G; Peake-Jones, G; Gask, L. Suicide mitigation. InnovAiT 2011; doi: 10.1093/innovait/inr018 first published online May
Cole-King A, Green G, Wadman S, Peake-Jones G, Gask L. Therapeutic assessment of patients following self-harm. InnovAiT (2011) 4(5): 278-287 first published online May
Simon C, Cole-King A. Non-pharmacological treatments for depression in primary care: an overview. (2011) 4(5): 265-271. first published online May
RCGP/RCPsych Primary Care Forum Factsheet: Cole-King A, Walton I, Gask L, Chew-Graham C Platt 2012 RCGP/RCPsych Suicide Mitigation Primary Care Forum Factsheet (Downloadable here)
Cole-King A, Green G, Gask L, Platt S 2012 . Suicide mitigation: embedding compassion in clinical care. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (Accepted 2012)
Cole-King A, Garnett V, Williams H, Hines K, Platt S 2012.Suicide prevention: are we doing enough? Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (Accepted 2012)
Hines K, Cole-King A, Blaustein M. 2012 'Hey kid are you OK' An account of suicide survived. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (Accepted 2012)
Cole-King A, Gilbert P (2011) Compassionate Care Journal of holistic Healthcare. 8 (3)29-36.
Cole-King A (2010) Suicide Awareness in Primary Care: How making the right connections can save lives. RCGP News p 6.
2 BMJ Podcasts recorded July and Novemeber 2010 http://www.bmj.com/podcast/2010/07/23/bridge Approx 6.30 minutes into podcast
Following the training sessions participants are asked to complete anonymous feedback forms.
- 98% rated the quality of the presentation as ‘very good’ or ‘good’
- 93% increased their understanding of self harm and suicidal thoughts
- 92% increased self reported empathy (some commented that they were already empathic)
- 93% increased their belief that they had a role in suicide prevention
- ‘I get consistently excellent feedback on the sessions which clearly stimulate our juniors into re-thinking their current practice. This has led to a more consistent and better service for patients who present to this ED with self harm’ (Consultant in Emergency Medicine with responsibility for Junior Doctor Training).
- ‘A whole patient approach to risk as opposed to just scoring scales’ (Junior Doctor, A&E).
- ‘The teaching package… alongside the risk assessment pathway has vastly improved our doctors’ ability to perform suicide risk assessment safely and quickly. I get consistently excellent feedback on the sessions which clearly stimulate our juniors into re-thinking their current practice. This has led to a more consistent and better service for patients who present to this ED with self harm’ (Emergency Department Consultant in with responsibility for Junior Doctor Training).
- ‘I now feel able and confident to create and discuss a 'safety plan' for the patient. I feel empowered that by discussing a patient's suicidal thoughts I can assess their risk more accurately, will refer patients more appropriately to secondary care services, and by discussing simple practical solutions that I can actually reduce their risk of dying. This course should be compulsory for all GPs in training’(General Practitioner).
- 'I found Connecting with People truly inspiring. The experience has helped immeasurably my confidence to support distressed callers who may be experiencing mental illness when previously I had thought that compassion wasn't enough ... now I know how crucial it is!' (Samaritan volunteer).
Academic collaborators who provided peer review during the development of the clinical tools and final shaping of the content of the Connecting with People training:
- Professor Linda Gask - Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry, University of Manchester
- Dr Gill Green - STORM Project Manager, University of Manchester
- Professor Paul Gilbert – Creator of compassionate mind approach, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Derbyshire Health Care NHS Foundation Trust.
- Professor Stephen Platt - Professor of Health Policy Research, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Samaritans Trustee
- Professor Carolyn Chew Graham - RCGP Clinical Champion Mental Health, Professor of Primary Care, University of Manchester, GP NHS Manchester
- Dr Mick Dennis - Reader in Liaison Psychiatry, University of Swansea
- Dr Joanne Reeve - Senior Lecturer and GP, University of Liverpool
- Dr Chris Manning – Lead Mental Health Advisory Board, College of Medicine, Founder of Upstream Health Care, Chief Executive of Primhe (Primary Care mental health and education)
- Martin Seager - Founder of National Advisory Group on Mental Health, Safety and Well-Being
- Sofia Wadman – Cariad yn Cyfri
- Dr Robin and Meredith Youngson, Founders HEARTSinHEALTHCARE
|Module 1||Module 2||Module 3||Module 4|
|Suicide Awareness||Suicide Response Part 1||Suicide Response Part 2||Self Harm Awareness|
Questions to ask
Pragmatic peer reviewed (BMJ Masterclass handbook 2012) list of questions to gently but thoroughly assess a patient who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. Questions also reviewed by patients, their carers and people with lived experience of suicidal thoughts. Designed to use non stigmatising language and promote a compassionate approach with open ended questions followed by specific closed questions to fully assess the degree of someone’s suicidal thoughts and plans.
This peer reviewed and published resource (BMJ Masterclass handbook 2012) was developed with the aim of creating a common language and understanding between patients and practitioners. It creates a common language to aid understanding and compliments a clinical assessment to assist with both the triage and referral of a distressed and potentially suicidal individual to enhance patient care. assessment tool for clinicians Its development was also to encourage a common culture and consistency of approach. Using a standardised language permits greater clarity, accuracy and consistency of practice over time and across patient groups. Communication is improved between those people experiencing suicidal thoughts and those working to help them, including healthcare professionals, their carers and the third (voluntary) sector.
The CK Continuum was developed to demystify the process of assessing someone with suicidal thoughts. It is an index of all the aspects of suicidal thoughts that need to be teased out to ensure a thorough assessment and will support a complex primary care or specialist assessment of a patient with suicidal thoughts. It has been laid out in a systematic, structured way so that the type of questions asked first, are the least stressful which make them easier for a patients to answer. This will help develop trust and provide confidence to the assessor. The more we understand about the nature of suicidal thoughts, the more we will be able to empower patients not to act on them. The CK Continuum was developed as an educational tool, to support clinical assessments and for patients and carers to identify their ‘Crisis signature’.
C-K Mitigation Framework
This peer reviewed and published resource was developed to demystify the process of identifying and responding to suicide risk in a transparent, collaborative and therapeutic way. It is based on Structured Professional Judgement to identify evidenced based suicide risk factors in four domains:
- Demographic and social
- Personal background
- Clinical factors in history
- Mental State Examination, particularly suicidal thoughts
The identified risk factors are then considered for both immediate and longer term interventions in biological, psychological and social domains to mitigate all identified risks. Its uses may include as an educational tool, to support clinical assessments and to increase patients’ and carers’ identification and understanding of suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self harm. It may assist them in engaging in a collaborative creation of a ‘safety plan’ with their practitioners and enable them to participate more fully in identifying and dealing with their suicidal thoughts.
C-K Bank of Hope
This peer reviewed and published resource was designed to instill hope and decrease the potency and distress of suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self harm. The Bank of Hope is a set of simple coping strategies designed to promote resilience and to decrease the seriousness of distress felt by individuals in emotional and physical pain. The strategies are designed to instil hope, enhance the self-efficacy and internal locus of control of a suicidal person, and to reduce the potency of suicidal thoughts and the likelihood of acting on these thoughts. The techniques are simple enough to be used by distressed suicidal individuals whose ability to cope with new information can be impaired at times of crisis. Its user friendly design makes it suitable for suicidal individuals themselves and all types of carers (statutory and voluntary), including unqualified staff e.g. support workers and those with no specific psychiatric training.
Creating a Safety Plan
This peer reviewed and published clinical resource outlines the way that practitioners can compassionately engage with and collaborate with patients to explore reasons for living, develop strategies to help stay safe, and establish a network of support (carers can assist if appropriate).
Risk Factors and warning signs
This peer reviewed and published resource is a practitioner friendly table containing a summary of all the evidenced based risk factors for suicide. It has recently been updated and republished with permission in the BMJ Masterclass handbook. The current version also includes warning signs to assist assessors in identifying a ‘Red Flag’ situation when a person may be at imminent risk of suicidal behaviour.
Feeling on the edge resource
RCPsych Resource intended to instil hope in, and compassionately engage with, people who attend the Emergency Department following self harm or with suicidal thoughts
- To encourage them to stay in hospital to complete their healthcare journey
- Explains the help that different support organisations can provide
Designed to be handed to patients who attend the Emergency Department following self harm or with suicidal thoughts but also very useful for distressed people at any stage of their healthcare journey.
Cole-King & Wadman Self Harm Mitigation Framework
This peer reviewed and published resource was developed to demystify the process of identifying and responding to young people who engage in self harm in a transparent, collaborative and therapeutic way. It is based on Structured Professional Judgement to identify evidenced based suicide risk factors in four domains:
- Demographic and social
- Personal background
- Clinical factors in history
- Mental State Examination, particularly thoughts of self harm
The identified risk factors are then considered for both immediate and longer term interventions in biological, psychological and social domains to mitigate all identified risks. Its uses may include as an educational tool, to support clinical assessments and to increase patients’ and carers’ identification and understanding of self harm. It may assist them in engaging in a collaborative creation of a ‘safety plan’ with their practitioners and enable them to participate more fully in identifying and dealing with their self -harm.
Connecting with People - Train the Trainer Programme
Dr Ian Walton, Chair Primhe:
‘The Connecting with People Programme is what we needed to inspire and give confidence to GPs managing suicidal and self-harming patients and I have been proved right. The Connecting with People and in particular the Cole-King Continuum and Classification and how it allows GPs to gain an understanding of how suicidal ideation can be classified into passive active and dangerous thoughts. GP students’ feedback that they have learnt an effective way to be able to successfully handle and support very challenging patients, saving lives and inspiring them with confidence and satisfaction. It has high impact and is continually updated. A number of GPs have told me about how this understanding gives them the confidence to know when they need to seek help from secondary care and possibly more importantly to know when to stand their ground and make sure the patient can get imminent help. You have heard me say on a number of occasions that it was after your training that GPs in Heart of Birmingham finally gained the confidence to accept and look after 500 patients discharged from secondary care something that was not happening prior to the training’
Nick Barnes, Founder; 'Suicide-Safer London CIC', Consulting Trainer, LivingWorks Education Inc.
‘I recently completed the Connecting with People Train the Trainer programme as part of my professional development, and was delighted to take part. Not only did Alys and Gavin deliver the programme with innate passion and sensitivity, but they both built and maintained a sense of safety and space within which we were able to learn and explore a particularly difficult and challenging area of our work. The subject of suicide was presented with dignity and compassion, with the value of the level of deep insight only gained through many years of expert clinical experience. I was pleasantly reminded I still have much to learn, and certainly now feel a marked increase in confidence working directly with Primary and Secondary Care. I highly valued the opportunity to learn more and work intimately for 2 days with one of the UK's leading organisations in the development of suicide prevention programmes. Recommended in the strongest possible terms.’
Suzie Wilson, Quality and Practice Development Nurse
‘I would highly recommend the Connecting with People Suicide Awareness Module to all Health Care Professionals. It has transformed my understanding of suicide and self harm and given me the confidence to talk to people about their suicidal thoughts. I had assumed that dealing with suicidal patients in acute care was best left to psychiatry liaison teams; through this module I have learned that everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention.I feel very privileged to have attended the exceptional Connecting with People Train the Trainer module. The module is delivered in a relaxed environment and the opportunity to receive supportive feedback from facilitation experts is invaluable. I have tried GPJ and ACKs techniques for dealing with colourful characters in training sessions and they really do work!’
Rachel Robbins, Quality and Practice Development Nurse
‘Connecting with People has given me a greater understanding of why people self harm and have suicidal thoughts, and the confidence to ask questions about their thoughts and feelings in order to help them and the confidence to assess whether a person is at immediate risk of harming themselves or not.The teaching materials and facilitation skills in the Train the Trainer Programme are exceptional. Having the opportunity to facilitate a section of a module and receive feedback from such experienced facilitators is invaluable. By being made aware of support networks available for people with suicidal thoughts and self harm I am now able to ensure that the individual would be able to identify appropriate support.
Alys and Gavin understand the importance of creating a safe, comfortable environment, away from interruptions, to maximize the learning outcome and experience of delegates Their interpersonal and facilitation skills are highly sensitive to the needs of the delegates, and deliver the highly sensitive subject matter in a professional but warm and caring way. Open Minds are a selfless organization, I feel very lucky to be a part of delivering their world class training sessions.‘
The following prices are for courses given to charities and NHS trusts. Different prices may apply for other organisations, please contact us for details. Bursaries available for small organisations.
Connecting with People
|Duration||Price (Ex VAT)||Capacity|
|2 or 3 Modules||1 Day||£2,500||Up to 12 people|
|2 or 3 Modules||1 Day||£4,000||Up to 24 people|
|1 Module||1/2 Day||£2,000||Up to 12 People|
|1 Module||1/2 Day||£3,000||Up to 24 People|
|3 Module Open Programme||1 Day|
£200 - £400 (depending on
Licensed Trainer Programme
|DURATION||Price (Ex VAT)||Capacity|
Train the Trainer core programme
|2 Days||£14,000||Up to 8 People|
|Train the Trainer top-up for|
further 2 modules*
|1 Day||£6500||Up to 8 People|
|Train the Trainer top-ups for|
further 1 module*
|1/2 Day||£4,000||Up to 8 People|
*In order to attend the 1 Day Train-the-Trainer Top-Up programme, an individual must have attended the Core Train-the-Trainer programme and achieved Licensed Trainer status.
License and re-accreditation fees (for Train-the-Trainer only)
|For in-house delivery licence, use of CwP tools and re-accreditation course||Included in course fee for core TTT||Up to 8 Trainers|
|Subsequent years||For in-house delivery licence and use of CwP tools||£4000||Up to 8 Trainers|
|Participant booklets||To be used at all training (for in-house licensed training only)||Printing costs plus P&P||N/A|
- Prices include all standard travel and subsistence expenses. However, where delivery is in a location that requires extra overnight accommodation or air travel, these expenses will incur additional costs. Any additional costs would be agreed in advance.
- Prices for the Core Train-the-Trainer programme include the costs of a licence to deliver the training to an unlimited number of people, within the terms of the licence for 1 year. In subsequent years, the organisation will be charged an annual licence fee. The licence fee includes the cost of trainers attending a re-accreditation course, a condition of the licence.
- Prices for Train-the-Trainer courses include use of the Connecting with People clinical tools, quality assurance programme and trainer support.
- Prior to attending a 2 day Core Train-the-Trainer course, delegates should have attended a ‘Direct to Participant’ course in the relevant modules.
- Prices do not include room hire or refreshments, although we are happy to organise these if required. Any additional costs would be agreed in advance.
- All prices are valid until 30th June 2014