Last week, Sam Whitmore (Epilepsy Connections Training and Development Manager) delivered a session on “safeTALK”, a suicide prevention awareness raising course, designed to equip the general public with knowledge on how to identify people who have suicidal thoughts, and what practical support to offer in such circumstances.

It is undoubtedly a painful and difficult topic of conversation to have, but also a potentially lifesaving one.

In one of his last posts as a current Epilepsy Futures participant, Steven reflects on his experiences of the session.

If this post brings up similar thoughts or feelings for yourself, please be sure to speak to someone, whether a family member, partner, friend, doctor or telephone helpline.

UK numbers include Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87, and Samaritans 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI)


Choose Life

This week we discussed the skills needed to support someone who has thoughts of suicide.

safeTALK is designed to to help organisations, communities and the general public to learn how to spot when someone might be feeling suicidal, and how to help them talk about it, so that you can help direct them to relevant health or support services. It is designed to work alongside other suicide prevention like ASIST for example.

Most individuals with thoughts of suicide don’t want to end their lives, but want the pain and heartache they are feeling to go away. Suicidal thoughts can take you to very dark places and can echo inside your head. Those unwanted thoughts and feelings that you may be having are seem all to real and believable as they echo round your head, making you feel very unwell.

We can’t choose not to have things which negatively affect our mental health but we can chose recovery.

safeTALK training helped us to spot how someone may be asking for help through their body language and what they say, so that you can then ask them some honest questions about their feelings

I am so honoured and privileged to undertake this programme which could change an individuals life.


Steven Connelly