Mental wellbeing and suicide prevention: update
This report will update the Board on the London and local suicide prevention activity, postvention support and the local work undertaken to promote mental wellbeing.
Dr Melanie Smith (Director of Public Health, Brent Council) introduced the report updating the Board on London and local suicide prevention activity, postvention support and the local work undertaken to promote Mental Wellbeing. In presenting the report the following key points were highlighted:
· A programme of Youth Mental Health First Aid was being delivered to staff members of schools and colleges in Brent, with 17 staff from 12 schools trained and further training to come. The council was now committed to rolling out adult Mental Health First Aid across the council.
· The Council was supporting the suicide prevention campaign “#ZeroSuicideLDN”, which was free online training that enabled those completing the course to identify when someone was presenting with thoughts of suicide; to feel comfortable responding and speaking out in a supportive manner; and to signpost the individual to the correct services or support. Board members were encouraged to promote the training through relevant channels. The campaign aimed to have 100,000 Londoners take the online training over the next 12 months.
· The new Thrive London Information Sharing Hub, which facilitated notification of a death within 72 hours by the host organisation to partner organisations such as local authorities, had gone live, and the council had signed the Information Sharing Agreement. The Hub provided a means for police to notify partners as soon as possible to allow for support services to be put in place early, and enabled providers to spot trends earlier. Dr Melanie Smith confirmed that this is the first such hub anywhere in the world.
Katie Horrell (Assistant Director, Mental Health Transformation, North West London CCG) updated the board about the postvention service with the following key points:
· The NHS Long Term plan set out a commitment that by 2023/24 all areas of the country would have a postvention support able to provide timely and appropriate support for those affected by suicide. An approach to establishing a postvention service in North West London had been agreed across Health Care Provider partners, with the intention for the model to go live with a service in Q3/4 of 2019/20. The model had received funding of £100,000 and aimed to build relationships with, and knowledge of, available therapeutic and support services, reaching out to work alongside those involved in formal post-suicide processes and liaising with the Mental Health Trust for navigation to other services and longer term support. Work was underway to ensure the model met the right cultural sensitivities for each area, and to ensure those with lived experience of suicide were involved.
Dr Melanie Smith and Katie Horrell welcomed comments and questions from the board in relation to their updates and reports, with the following issues raised:
· Councillor Hirani noted that the council was pushing for data on how many individuals from Brent had taken the #ZeroSuicideLDN free online training;
· Alongside the focus on postvention services, Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive) felt there would also be a need to recognise the importance of access to CAMHS for those needing support at as early a stage as possible. Sheik Auladin (Managing Director, Brent CCG) responded to the concerns informing the board that work was ongoing with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust with regard to access and a meeting had been scheduled to discuss the matter. Sheik Auladin reassured the board that the number of individuals accessing CAMHS had significantly increased since the last time the matter was raised. Carolyn notified the board that the Council would be shortly introducing Mental Health street workers to work with young people in the community and asserted that this would only be successful if an individual could be seen as soon as they were identified as needing support.
· In further responding to the concerns for access to CAMHS, Dr Ketana Halai (Clinical Director, Brent CCG) informed the board that some services were now available online to allow children access to services quicker. These services directed children to CAMHS if concerns were raised when talking to an online provider. This led board members to ask for clarity on what training the online providers received. Dr Melanie Smith informed the board that the messages in training were See it, Say it, Signposting.
· Regarding the GDPR considerations for the online service, Dr Ketana Halai explained that the service did not require users to provide personal information, but the user may be asked if there were concerns they were at risk. Dr Melanie Smith explained that the user did not need to identify themselves as having a mental illness. It was confirmed that the first point of call for this service to signpost to would be the GP, but after board members expressed concern about GP capacity to deal with this confirmed that, depending on the level of concern, a user could be directed to alternate providers, e.g. school.
· Dr Melanie Smith provided further details for members who wished to promote the Zero Suicide campaign, explaining that it had only been in existence for 3 weeks and already 100,000 people had accessed it due to a very effective social media campaign, with a range of campaign materials available for use.
The Board subsequently RESOLVED:
i) That the update on the mental wellbeing work and Brent Suicide Prevention Plan be noted.
ii) That the zero suicide campaign “#ZeroSuicideLDN” be endorsed.
iii) That the postvention bereavement funding for North West London be noted.