Free suicide awareness training courses launched in Breckland

A series of suicide awareness workshops has been launched to teach local volunteers and organisations how to spot the warning signs of someone going into a suicide crisis and how to correctly respond.

Funded by Breckland Council’s Inspiring Communities programme, the Breckland Mental Health Community Partnership’s Mindful Towns project is offering a free half-day suicide awareness workshop in either Dereham (5 August), Watton (4 November) or Thetford (10 February 2023).

The workshops will be led by Norfolk and Waveney MIND and provide the knowledge and skills required by any volunteers, staff and support agencies that work with people who may be at risk of mental ill health, self-harm or suicide.

In 2021 suicide was recorded as the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50 and of all suicides each year around three-quarters are men. The Samaritans helpline answers a call for help every 10 seconds and, tragically, around every 90 minutes someone dies from suicide in the UK alone.

The Mindful Towns new training programme is also providing free ‘mental health awareness’ and ‘managing mental health in the workplace’ training to local volunteers and organisations across the Breckland district. These free courses aim to increase mental health awareness within the community and local workplaces, teaching participants how to hold safe conversations with someone in need and signpost onto appropriate support.

Cllr Alison Webb, Executive Member for Health & Communities commented: “These free suicide awareness workshops will help to save lives in our community and make sure people find the right support when they need it most. I therefore urge local Breckland volunteers and groups to sign up for this vital training, learn new skills and help make the difference in our community and across local workplaces.”

For more information or to sign up a free course, visit