Professionally as a nurse over 35 years, I have met and tried to support many people who have expressed suicidal thoughts or who have tried to take their life. Each person leaves a memory. Personally my life has been directly touched by suicide through friends and relations. I have had people close to me and worked supporting people who used self-injurious behaviours as a means of coping at certain critical points or decision points.
I began organising STORM training for the organisation in 2006 in response to the Suicide Prevention Strategy, which called for a training response to support the workforce in helping managing individuals who were expressing suicide ideation or who had attempted suicide.
In my then role as Training & Development Manager for Mental Health Services for Plymouth Community, I was tasked with researching existing training materials available and providing a business case/option appraisal for the organisation.
Ultimately, the decision was to take STORM, train four staff to deliver the training to the staff initially in Mental Health Services and then to a wider audience.
Three colleagues and myself were trained in STORM in July 2007. An exciting and challenging 5 days delivered by a brilliant consultant for whom we developed a huge respect for her knowledge and professionalism. The STORM Consultant also had a caring way in which she took us through the training and helped us to become a team to train STORM. Our first training session began in September 2007 and continues to run now. That’s an incredible 9 years!
Both a colleague and myself became STORM Consultants in 2009.
In 2009 Dr Gill Green spoke to us about the opportunity when she came to do our follow-up supervision. Following on from this a colleague and myself came to Manchester to meet and undergo an interview & training session to be accepted onto the Consultants list.
Having to support a member of staff who had an experience of supporting someone who had died by suicide, thought that they had ‘dealt with it..’ as it had been an event several years before, who found that we revisited some of the experiences. The person was adamant that they did not want to withdraw from the training so with support of the co-trainer and the group the person completed all part of the training very well. It demonstrated for me the power of the programme to help engagement and reflection in a safe environment, to help consolidate strengths.