Education Trust’s Pioneering Programme Provides Life Saving Suicide Awareness Training

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Northamptonshire education leaders have introduced a pioneering programme focused on suicide awareness in a bid to help save lives, protect pupils and support staff.

As this month marks World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, Nene Education Trust is calling for schools and education establishments across the county and country to follow its initiative to highlight how help and support is available for students and staff suffering mental health issues.

The ground-breaking approach adopted by the Trust, which has seen more than 400 teachers and Trust staff undergo specialist suicide awareness training, was implemented following the death by suicide of Manor School student Callum Woodcroft in 2022.

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Callum’s former Head Teacher, Matt Coleman, Director of School Improvement at the Trust contacted Northamptonshire suicide prevention charity, Kelly’s Heroes to collaborate on creating a package of specialised support available to all eight schools in the Trust, which he hopes will also be utilised by schools throughout the county and nationwide.

Matt Coleman Director of School Improvement at Nene Education TrustMatt Coleman Director of School Improvement at Nene Education Trust
Matt Coleman Director of School Improvement at Nene Education Trust

At the Trust’s recent annual training day Sherry Adams, CEO of Kelly’s Heroes and the charity’s team of specialists delivered the training session entitled Suicide Awareness – Creating A Suicide Safe Community.

Following Callum’s death, Matt Coleman explained he was determined to help make a difference to support students and staff. He said: “I was driven to make some positive change out of something so tragic that impacted so many.

“We have worked with Sherry and the team at Kelly’s Heroes to create a package of support that is available to all schools in the county and beyond. The charity’s team of specialists visited the Trust sites to shine a spotlight on this very emotive and often taboo subject, its potential causes, and effects.

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As it is estimated there are more than 700,000 suicides every year worldwide, Sherry Adams welcomed the opportunity for the charity to collaborate with schools and businesses to highlight how it is okay to talk about suicide.

Chris Hill CEO of Nene Education TrustChris Hill CEO of Nene Education Trust
Chris Hill CEO of Nene Education Trust

As part of the specially commissioned training provided to the Trust teams, the charity covered: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention and highlighted the detrimental influence of social media has on those struggling with their mental health. Data also showed suicides increase exponentially following the report of a life lost to suicide.

The training covered common warning flags and specific risk factors – influences that may lead to someone to have suicidal thoughts.

Chris Hill, CEO of Nene Education Trust, added: “I wanted to express my huge thanks to everyone involved in our training day which was emotional and focused on such important messages.”

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Nene Education Trust is a multi-academy trust comprising Newton Road School in Rushden, Windmill Primary in Raunds, Stanwick Primary, Raunds Park Infants, St. Peter’s CE Academy, Woodford CE Primary, Redwell Primary in Wellingborough and Manor School in Raunds.

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