Our most recent Suicide First Aiders

East Ayrshire has trained over 600 Suicide First Aiders thanks to the award winning Here to Listen campaign

East Ayrshire Council, through the suicide prevention strategy Here to Listen, has trained over 600 people to be Suicide First Aiders and this training has had a positive impact on colleagues and our communities.

Here to Listen launched in December 2018, and each year the Council’s Health and Safety section has set ambitious targets to increase the number of trained Suicide First Aiders. The plan this year was to double the number of people trained from 300 to 600 by the end of 2023 and incredibly, this target has been surpassed with 611 trained Suicide First Aiders now helping to raise awareness in workplaces and communities, and providing an immediate point of contact for anyone in crisis.

Councillor Neal Ingram, Spokesperson for Human Resources, Equalities and Inclusion said: “I was taken aback and moved when the team from Health and Safety called me to let me know they had surpassed their target of 600 trained Suicide First Aiders. This is testament to the incredible commitment of Jane McKie and the whole team who developed the Here to Listen suicide prevention strategy and continue to work tirelessly to help those in crisis.

“Suicide Prevention is everyone’s responsibility so we took the decision to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to undertake this vital training. In addition to our own employees, 201 members of our community and 174 individuals from our partners including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Scottish Ambulance Service, the NHS and neighbouring local authorities have completed their training.

“I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has already taken the ASIST course. Future training is already programmed in for 2024 with one course a month available. If you are interested in attending our ASIST training course please email: healthandsafety@east-ayrshire.gov.uk

“The impact of the ASIST training programme can’t be underestimated. The volunteer Suicide First Aiders have already provided crisis interventions to 223 Council employees, members of their families and members of the community. Knowing what to say and how to approach someone in crisis can save someone’s life. If you, or someone you know, is in crisis, please reach out, we’re literally Here to Listen. You can find more information online.”

Suicide prevention · East Ayrshire Council (east-ayrshire.gov.uk)