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Rural Stress Support Team

The Suicide Awareness Partnership Training (SAPT) project has its roots in Leicestershire & Rutland RCC's running of the Rural Stress Support Team (RSST). The RSST was initiated by the RCC in 2001, firstly through Lloyds TSB funding and then a successful bid to the Big Lottery. It was developed partly as a response to DEFRA's (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) 'Rural Stress Action Plan' (2000) which, among other actions, identifed the need for better access to services, and more support for, farmers and agricultural workers - these occupations being among the more higher-risk for suicide.     

The RSST provided a telephone helpline and befriending service for those in distress in rural Leicestershire and Rutland. At its peak it received about 120 calls per annum and made about 20 befriending visits.  

The RCC ceased this project in January 2009.

[NB. The Arthur Rank Centre operates a Rural Stress Helpline which offers confidential listening support specifically to those in distress in rural areas. Tel: 0845 094 8286.] 

Suicide Awareness training

As a local response to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, the Suicide Prevention Steering Group for Leicestershire & Rutland approached the RCC (due to their role in the Rural Stress Support Team) to be a partner in their bid for funding to DEFRA to develop and deliver Suicide Awareness seminars in rural areas. This bid was successful and the RCC corodinated 20 Suicide Awareness seminars during the two years 2006-08. Although amended and updated, it is this training which provides the foundation of what now is delivered by the SAPT project.

Leicester City Primary Care Trust (PCT) subsequently commissioned the RCC to deliver 10 Suicide Awareness seminars exclusively in the city during 2008-09. This training was along the same lines as that delivered in the county areas but was reduced to a half-day, in accordance with the findings of the evaluation report.

The RCC remains grateful to NHS Leicester City, who have continued to fund the SAPT project in both 2009-10 and 2010-11 in order to provide Suicide Awareness seminars in target neighbourhoods within the city.

Suicide Awarness Partnership Training project

It is this background which in 2009 lead the RCC, in partnership with the neighbouring RCC agencies in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire, to apply to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund to extend the reach of the Suicide Awareness training by developing the SAPT project.   

The RCC, and the SAPT project, gratefully acknowledges the work of Dr Martin Anderson (Regional Fellow in Suicide Awareness, University of Nottingham) who devised the content of the original training seminars (2006); and Keith Waters (Royal Derby Hospital, and East Midland Suicide Prevention Lead) for his continued advice to, and support of, the SAPT project.  

We provide half-day suicide awareness training, which is open to everyone. We especially encourage attendance from those whose work is likely to bring them into contact with people who may be vulnerable to suicide or self-harm. 

If you have found your way to this website because you are in distress, and may be thinking of taking your own life, then please do seek help urgently. The   Help in a crisis section suggests some useful sources of help and support.