At last! Time is found to update the SOS website for our followers following a very busy period for Michael and myself, which has seen us away from our desks and emails for almost 2 weeks . Our apologies to all of you who support SOS and its work.
Rather than multiple longer updates, we thought we’d condense everything we’ve been working on recently into one, more concise article.
Let’s start with updates from today, Friday 30th June 2017 and our visit to The Inner Temple
After an early morning interview on Good Morning Britain, in relation to trauma issues and legal matters in respect of the #Grenfell tragedy, it was time for a quick coffee before heading down to London where Michael and I were speaking to members of the bar.
Organised by Rachel Spearing, we, and the audience of approximately 100, spoke for just over an hour about SOS, its role and the experiences of our attendees.
As always, when asked the golden question – ‘how many of you here have been affected by suicide?’ we had a response rate of about 75%, indicated through a show of raised hands. No surprises there, although to those who’ve no experience of the legal profession and the pressures that exist, perhaps it is a surprise.
People had different thoughts, experiences and feelings and we commend everyone who spoke today. Opening up is the first step to normalising and de-stigmatising the issue of suicide.
Our sincere thanks to everyone who helped organise this amazing event and for the hugely positive feedback.
Who are they? Over the last two weeks, we have been very busy completing all necessary paperwork for the Charities’ Commission, including our business plan, which is now all in place. We’re also delighted, that in addition to our prominent Trustees, we have gained the support of well known faces who endorse our work and will help us spread the word. There’s some fantastic names to announce and we will do so as soon as we are able. We are all very excited for SOS Silence of Suicide to establish its CIO status, so that we can arrange our launch party to celebrate just how far SOS has come in less than 2 years.
Also, over the last two weeks, Michael and I have visited the Grenfell Tower Tragedy communities, where Michael has offered free, essential guidance to those who are displaced and where I have spoken to many people traumatised and affected by this recent, completely avoidable, tragedy.
It is my firm belief that provision for ongoing mental health support for all those affected should form part of the terms of reference. If anyone believes that human beings traumatised to such a degree will just ‘get over it’ , they’re living with the fairies. The impact on everyone is huge and the shameful and savage behaviour of Kensington & Chelsea Council has left people feeling abandoned and isolated – the very opposite of what they should feel.
I believe most of us are aware of the risks to those suffering from PTSD and we need to ensure that the right support, with the right people delivering it on a long term basis, is put in place NOW.
The community as a whole have done fantastically well supporting each other, they really are a beautiful group of people, but they need help. They’re exhausted, traumatised, not just from the fire, but from trying to find accurate information and now, reeling from the news that the inquiry may not be as far reaching as Theresa May had indicated.
Updates in relation to Grenfell are coming thick and fast and I have to say I am relieved at the resignation (far too late in my opinion) today of Ice King, Nicholas Paget-Brown
We will continue to support anyone affected as well as we can and we send the entire community our love as always.
Earlier in the week, Michael and I were on the #alloutpolitics show on Sky News hosted by Adam Boulton, where we had a similar discussion to the one with #GoodmorningBritain and again discussed the legal and psychological issues facing those affected by #grenfell
We are pleased to announce that dates for SOS initiative events at Portsmouth and Bristol Universities have been arranged and these events will be displayed on our events page at the earliest opportunity.
The Queen’s Speech – The Queen’s Speech was extremely disappointing. During the election campaign and, in fact, on her first speech as PM, she mentioned mental health with a passion that gave many of us hope. Yet below is what was mentioned during the Queen’s Speech:
“My Government will reform mental health legislation and ensure that mental health is prioritised in the National Health Service in England.”
A little different to the promises made in the Tory’s Manifesto, which means it’s the vulnerable in our society who will still be stuck in the abyss with no hope that someone might actually help, quickly, with their situation. By not adhering to the Mental Health Treatment Bill she promised, Theresa May is guilty of what all politicians do – plenty of talk, but little, if any, action. JUST HOW MANY SUICIDES WILL IT TAKE BEFORE THINGS CHANGE?
There have been ongoing discussions between SOS and our contact in relation to rolling out a pilot SOS scheme at Bristol Prison. We are pleased to announce that this event is agreed and again, updates and full details will be displayed at the earliest possible opportunity.
We have another full schedule next week, but hope to get more posts out more frequently for everyone. One pair of hands means it’s sometimes just a little difficult!!!
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, Michael and Myself talked Palestine and suicide as part of the Leamington Spa Peace Festival. The church was packed, I’m assuming 200 people attended and the audience were fully engaged and superb. Thanks to John Kelly for arranging everything. And it was a brilliant opportunity to wear our brand new SOS t-shirts !
Please keep yourselves safe. Share your thoughts/feelings and experiences with people you can trust. Alternatively, you can phone the Samaritans 24/7.
SOS Silence of Suicide – It’s time to stop the silence