Millers Fish & Chips encourages North Yorkshire companies to offer suicide prevention training to staff

A York-based fish and chip restaurant is encouraging other businesses in York and North Yorkshire to offer suicide prevention training to staff, as part of a campaign by local NHS and council organisations launched on Word Suicide Prevention Day (10th September).

The #TalkSuicide campaign encourages people to complete a FREE 20-minute suicide prevention training programme, which is available at talksuicide.co.uk. Businesses are encouraged to offer the training to their staff and can access support and resources at talksuicide.co.uk/employers.

People who complete the training are taught how to:

  • Identify the signs of when someone might be suffering from suicidal thoughts.
  • Feel comfortable speaking out about suicide in a supportive manner.
  • Signpost anyone suffering to the correct services and support.

The campaign is led by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership – whose member organisations include City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Millers Fish & Chips, a fourth generation family-owned fish and chip restaurant which employs 26 people at its premises in Haxby, became ambassadors for the #TalkSuicide campaign in 2019 when they encouraged their staff to complete the suicide prevention training.

The training was offered to Millers employees and a short video has been created to capture their experiences of completing the training.

Nick Miller, Co-Owner of Millers Fish and Chips, said: “We jumped at the chance of being involved with this campaign when we learned about the training through the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership. We are a close family at work and looking after them is paramount to what we do. This subject is very close to me and I really wanted to be involved so that we can try to help more people as well.

“The training was really good, easy to follow, intuitive and being video-based helped us to relate to the stories that were in it. If we can train 26 members of our staff and it touches them, then they will be able to then touch other people in our community and then it’s a continuous cycle of helping more people.

“As an employer, we want to provide a safe working environment and for everyone to be happy. You get the most out of your staff if they are happy and that they come to work and they love what they are doing. Looking after their health in their mind is just as important as their physical appearance.”

Mark Coaker, Operations Manager, said: “I would 100% recommend the training to anyone, whether you’re an individual or an employer. It would be great for everyone to have that insight and knowledge where they could help someone else and potentially save a life.

“The training was very informative and very slick. The training is explained in a way so you will really take something from it, and there is real emotion behind it.

“You have got nothing to lose by completing the training, just do it! It takes 20 mins of your time and it will make you realise about yourself, your life and how you can have a positive effect on someone else’s life too.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales in 2019 – which amounts to around one death by suicide every 90 minutes. A survey carried out by mental health charity Mind indicates that one in six employees has experienced depression, anxiety or unmanageable stress in the workplace.

Jo Kent, Suicide Prevention Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “I want to thank every member of staff at Millers Fish and Chips who took 20 minutes out of their day to complete the suicide prevention training. In Humber, Coast and Vale we are working collaboratively with a number of organisations, including local businesses, to prevent suicides from happening in our communities.

“The suicide prevention training is integral to this work as those who complete the training can make a real difference in their communities, simply by being better placed to identify those people who might be suffering from suicidal thoughts, knowing what to say to them in these circumstances, and signposting them to the most appropriate services.”

Are you an employer wanting to offer suicide prevention training to your staff? Request your FREE training pack at talksuicide.co.uk/employers.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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