top of page

NCC members learn Suicide First Aid

On Saturday 6 January, 12 members of the canoe club attended a workshop on suicide first aid held by Sue Bennett from West Berks Suicide Prevention Group.

As we paddle along the canal we meet and see many people who we may give little attention to beyond a nod or a 'good morning'. But one day we may just come across someone who appears to be distressed, maybe even showing signs that they might be thinking of suicide. Many members felt they were not equipped to deal with this situation, so Dave organised a workshop, and within 24hrs all places were filled. It proved so popular, we'll run a second course for those who missed out.

Thought provoking and at times hitting close to home, the workshop was a confidence building session. Members left feeling more equipped to recognise the signs that someone may be thinking of suicide and what to do if they ever find themselves in that situation.

The group learned the langauge that we should use when we talk about suicide, and an understanding of what is meant by suicide.


The definition of suicide is "The act or an instance of intentionally killing oneself".

The term 'suicide' does not mean a wish to end one's life but to end one's suffering.

In 2020, 6199 people died by suicide in the UK.

For every person who dies by suicide, 5 people are directly impacted.

For every person that dies by suicide, 135 people are indirectly affect.

The second half focused on helping us to consider how to recognise a person who may be about to suicide and build confidence in clarifying their state of mind and intentions. More importantly we learned the value of being able to actively listen and understand what is going on for the person before considering ways to try help them. For suicide first aid, this in itself may be all that is needed until other help can be accessed.

"When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen."

Stephen R Covey.

The session ended by considering the places both ourselves and others can seek help. It was reflected that the Newbury Canoe Club is a valuable source for many members to not feel so isolated if they are struggling just by merely showing up and being greeted kindly by other members.

If you are in crisis you can call

Samaritans 116 123

or contact the following

Text 'SHOUT' to 85258

Prevention of Young suicide

Campaign against living miserably

West Berkshire Suicide Prevention Action group

For more information and tips on how to support a person who may be at risk of suicide

bottom of page