One of the most common responses on learning that a family member, friend or colleague has died through suicide is a sense of failure, guilt and inadequacy, which often complicates other normal processes of loss and grief.
The Mind HK suicide prevention training programme exists to firstly acknowledge that while we are all born with or acquire the ability to sense emotional distress, we are not born with or necessarily acquire the ability to diagnose a significant mental health problem or to recognise a developing risk of suicide. These are skills that need to be taught. For most of those who die from suicide, their last contact was not with a mental health professional. It is therefore clear that one strategy to reduce suicide is to ensure that those they may encounter are better able to recognise risk and have acquired skills on how to respond appropriately.
The Mind HK training programme is not a universal panacea; other aspects of professional mental health care in Hong Kong’s private, public and charitable sectors need to be improved and expanded. It also needs to be made clear that although early recognition, intervention and treatment is our best chance of reducing suicide rates, there are individuals who will succeed in taking their own lives despite the very best care.
The Mind HK suicide prevention training programme is open to everyone on a first come first served basis. Those with qualifications in medicine, psychology or who work in mental health related fields can apply for exemption to part 1 of the programme: Mental Health Literacy. Those who attend days 1 and 2 of the Hong Kong Mental Health Conference in November 2017 will also be exempt from part 1 of the programme.
The training programme and its curriculum is taught in English and is produced and certified by Mind HK, CMHA-HK, and the HK Society of Psychotherapists.
Please watch this space for details regarding part 2 and 3, which will be held in the Gleneagles hospitals in April 2018.
A certificate of completion will be given for each part of the programme.