Meldreth father’s suicide prevention movement achieves national recognition
- Credit: Archant
A suicide prevention movement co-founded by a Meldreth father has become the largest mental health reform programme in the UK.
The Zero Suicide Alliance, established by Steve Mallen, now has formal government support and has rapidly emerged as a powerful force for change within the NHS and society at large.
The ZSA now has a membership base of more than 200 NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups from across the UK, making it the largest suicide prevention movement in the country. In addition, more than 100 major employers and corporations have joined the movement - the primary aim of which is to radically improve the services extended to people experiencing menta illness and psychological trauma.
READ MORE: Meldreth father launches Zero Suicide Alliance - four years after death of sonSpeaking on World Mental Health Day, Mr Mallen - who lost his son Edward to suicide in 2015 following the onset of severe depression - said: "From grassroots beginnings, the ZSA is now focused on ensuring positive outcomes for people in mental crisis.
"Our attitudes towards mental illness and suicide have improved radically in recent years.
"The challenge now is to both reduce suffering through awareness and training, while simultaneously overhauling mental health services for those in trauma."
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The ZSA also aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness via online awareness and training. Formally approved and funded by the government in April 2019, the ZSA training programme, as of this week, has been completed by more than a 350,000 people. The ZSA is aiming for a million completions over the next 12 months.
Mr Mallen continued: "The ZSA, drawing upon expertise in Merseyside, NHS England and elsewhere, now has the reach and capability to improve care and clinical practices throughout the NHS and society at large.
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"Myself and my colleagues are determined to reduce self-harm and suicide and save people from the misery it brings. "As a governor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, in whose care Edward was at the time of his death, and with World Mental Health Day today, I can see how this national movement is starting to translate into real change and better services at local level."
For further information go to zerosuicidealliance.com