13th Dec 2022

Mental Health and Substance Misuse Services Join Forces

Generis and Think Mental Health have joined forces to raise awareness of the links between substance misuse and suicide risk.

Together we provide workforce training and awareness to local authorities and commercial organisations across the Humber Region, as well as nationally and internationally online.

The inextricable links between substance misuse and suicide are regularly revealed. In response, Mental Health First Aid Instructor Paul Longley and Laura Jarvis from Generis have collaborated to combine the experience of both organisations.

Paul Longley set up Think Mental Health in 2021. He has worked with forward-thinking employers such as Smith & Nephew, Rix Petroleum and Reckitts to deliver mental health first-aid training to all team members. He explains: “I often come across people with mental health issues who also struggle with substance misuse. I see this through my business and as a leader of Andy’s Man Club, the suicide prevention charity. When this connection is recognised, people suffering from mental health added to by substance misuse issues can get the support they deserve.

“Having suffered poor mental health for over twenty years, I use real-life experience to provide a positive, practical and powerful method of teaching about mental well-being. This training leads to incredible results; reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and staff morale.”

Laura Jarvis has developed Generis which is part of The Alcohol and Drug Service. She explains: “Through bespoke training, we give employees the skills and knowledge to identify those with poor mental health at the earliest opportunity. Employees who can discuss drug and alcohol use with colleagues can ascertain risk factors of poor mental health and suicide.

“This builds competence and confidence within the workforce to discuss substances and explore the relationship between misuse and suicide, thus creating a safe space for those who are experiencing personal challenges.”

Generis supports local authorities around Yorkshire, particularly staff who work on the front line with vulnerable adults and children. Laura explains:

“Amongst all of the professional training, there is a distinct lack of knowledge and support regarding substance misuse. Yet, one of our clients felt this was an important topic and made the training mandatory for the entire workforce.

“Substance misuse can and does affect anyone. Suicide can too. Therefore, if more people know how to approach someone displaying signs, it is possible to prevent harm.”

Find out more about Generis and Think Mental Health