STAFF at a Lancashire university are taking a special suicide prevention nursing programme out to India.
The two-year project, will be provided by Edge Hill’s Faculty of Health for nurses in Mysore, as part of a partnership with the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute and CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital.
There is a desperate shortage of mental health trained professionals in Mysore and with 2,000-2500 people being referred each year after suicide attempts to just two doctors, it is a major public health concern.
It is one of the worst-affected regions of the country with the world’s highest suicide rate.
The training will focus on improving mental health interventions for people who have attempted suicide and/or are considered vulnerable.
Alongside colleagues in the area, the university has secured funding from Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) to implement and deliver a mental health training programme for general hospital staff, and research the effectiveness of the interventions.
The partnership between Edge Hill’s Dr Murali Krishna at CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital and Professor Rajendra at MMCRI was initially set up in 2012 and earlier this year senior lecturers Paul Keenan and Steve Jones visited Mysore again to build upon work started after THET granted initial start-up funding in 2012.
Steve said: “Attempted suicide is illegal in India and mental health issues are heavily stigmatised, and we have found that while nurses are well-equipped to provide physical treatment and care for patients, they have limited knowledge of mental health needs. We hope to address the pressing need for the nurses to gain more knowledge and skills in this area.”
The pair are planning to go back next year and in 2016 to train 100 staff across both hospital sites in completing mental health assessments and developing treatment plans for those who have attempted to take their lives.
Another 40 staff will then be trained to become trainers.