How the Skills Network aims to help reduce the male suicide rate

ONE of  the UK’s biggest online learning providers, The Skills Network, is offering free mental health courses in response to the rising male suicide rate.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:58 pm
The Selby-based company, which has worked with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the NHS, is providing free certified courses in mental health awareness.

The Selby-based company, which has worked with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the NHS, is providing free certified courses in mental health awareness to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The course focuses on recognising poor mental health, as well as the signs of suicidal thoughts, giving learners advice on minimising the risk of self-harm, as well as tips on how to support others dealing with grief after suicide.

A spokesman said: “With more than 40,000 mental health-related courses completed at the Skills Network, only 5,346 learners (13 per cent) are male. This discrepancy has remained the same for the past 12 months with almost 85 per cent of learners being female.”

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James Earl, executive director of sales at The Skills Network, said: “The pandemic has affected everyone differently – some have lost family members, others have become unemployed or furloughed, while many are still feeling extreme loneliness and anxiety.

“It’s concerning to see that less than a third of our mental health course learners are male, when at the moment 42 per cent of men are saying that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health.

“By being aware of poor mental health, self-harm and suicide signs, it will be easier to identify some of the triggers which might cause others to be at risk.

“With more than 6,000 people across the UK taking their lives each year, we wanted to make these courses free and fully available to help the nation recover from the pandemic. You can choose when and where to attend the courses, achieving a certified qualification whilst having the support of an assigned tutor and adviser.”

Nicola Trappitt, who recently completed the Level 2 Mental Health Problems course, added: “After browsing through the numerous courses available, it was this course that appealed to me the most as I felt it would be really beneficial to my job – and on a personal level.

“It has taught me ways to manage my own anxiety and stress better, and I am now confident in recognising symptoms of mental health problems.”

The Skills Network provides online distance learning courses, staff training programmes and apprenticeship programmes which have helped businesses, such as G4S, Thomson Reuters and the Trades Union Congress, to reach their training goals.