What is it?

The Practise Hope project will support GP surgeries to provide appropriate, timely care and support to children and young people who are experiencing thoughts of suicide and self harm. It is a PACE Setter initiative; a development programme for primary care to lead the way in changing culture and improving services around mental health in practices. Practise Hope will work with GPs, young people, families and other partners to design and deliver effective suicide prevention training and resources for clinical and non-clinical staff at 30 GP practices across Kent, Surrey and Sussex in 2019-2020. Participating GP practices will receive £1,000 from Health Education England to support their activities, and upon successful completion will receive a PACE Setter Award.

Why is it needed?

Suicide is the most common cause of death among men aged under 45, accounting for around 10.1 deaths per 100,000 people in the UK in 2017. Whilst overall deaths by suicide are decreasing, in recent years the number of young people taking their own lives has been increasing (Office for National Statistics). It is estimated that around one third of those who die by suicide in England were in contact with primary care services prior to their death but were not receiving specialist mental health support. Supporting GPs to strengthen their responsiveness to young people struggling with suicidal thoughts and self harm is therefore a vital component in working to reduce suicides.

Who we are

Practise Hope is being implemented as a collaboration between Health Education England, Olly’s Future and Mind.

Ann Feloy is the project’s Patients’ Care Lead, bringing her personal insight to help improve how GP practices support children and young people who self harm or have thoughts of suicide. Ann is the founder of Olly’s Future, which she set up after she lost her son Oliver Hare to suicide in February 2017. Its two aims are to celebrate Oliver’s exceptional life with awards and events and to fund participants on suicide prevention training courses. A former journalist, lobbyist and teacher, Ann has recently become a trainer in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).

Dr Sam Fraser is the project’s Clinical Lead. A clinical psychologist with an extensive history of working with children and adolescents including hard to reach populations, she adopts a holistic and person centred approach to her work. In recent years Sam has been employed in a research role (for Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust and University of Sussex) helping in the development and delivery of recovery focused models of therapies for CYP in an assertive outreach capacity. As part of her new role as a Health Education England (Kent, Surrey & Sussex) Darzi fellow she hopes to apply her extensive clinical knowledge to adopting system wide change in how we manage self-harm and suicide prevention in CYP across the KSS region.