A NEW hub has been launched to deliver mental health and suicide awareness training across North Yorkshire.

Headfirst is a new training hub which aims to create mentally healthy communities and workplaces across the county.

It has been launched by the county council, who will be working with a range of approved training providers, including MIND Harrogate, Scarborough Survivors, North Yorkshire Sport and others, to deliver the training and tackle discrimination and stigma surrounding mental health issues. The hub also aims to tackle mental health problems caused by loneliness and social and emotional isolation, as well as reducing suicides.

Local communities worst affected by suicide were recently given NHS England funding to contribute to a national reduction in suicides. This funding has enabled the development of the Headfirst website, providing a range of online, as well as face-to-face training to people living and working in North Yorkshire. Areas of the county with the highest rates of suicide vary and are often linked with deprivation.

North Yorkshire County Council are working with a directory of Approved Training Providers on the hub;

• North Yorkshire Sport

• MIND in Harrogate

• Kaleidoscope

• Scarborough Survivors

• Golden Tree CIC

• Dextra Management

• Starfish

• North Yorkshire County Council Training and Learning Service.

Throughout the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 crisis, seven, separate online training courses were delivered in North Yorkshire.

This training has engaged 87 people to date.

Headfirst’s online hub aims to provide training in areas such as Mental Health First Aid and also invites people to become trainers by attending “train the trainer” sessions. It will also function as resource on mental health and wellbeing. Pat Sowa, director at Starfish, Headfirst Provider said: “As a member of the North Yorkshire Suicide Prevention Strategy Group I am delighted Headfirst is being launched in North Yorkshire for mental health training. Being able to deliver mental health first aid in the community is the foundation of wellbeing for all of us. And it’s the best way to prevent crisis and reduce suicide.”

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health said: “The launch of this hub is a great step forward in improving the mental health and wellbeing of people in communities and work places across North Yorkshire. We want to train as many people as possible across the county. The more we do this, the more we will improve people’s mental health, wellbeing and emotional resilience and tackle issues such as isolation or loneliness.”

Apply here to become an Approved Training Provider or for further information. For more information visit; http://headfirst-northyorks.org/.