‘Two minutes of conversation can save a life,’ says mental health nurse – Nursing Times

Posted: October 3, 2019 at 11:45 am


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A nurse who heads up a mental health service for military veterans in Essex is promoting the power of conversation for improving wellbeing.

David Powell, lead of the East Anglia Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service run by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, said even a short chat could make a vital difference.

"Conversation costs nothing and can make the difference"

David Powell

Two or three minutes of conversation could save your life, said Mr Powell, a clinical lead nurse specialist who has worked for the mental health trust for 20 years.

He is backing the trusts new suicide awareness and prevention campaign, which is urging people to download the free self-help app Stay Alive.

The app is aimed at people considering suicide or concerned about others who may be thinking about taking their own lives.

Created by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, it includes a range of safety tools and resources to help people stay safe in a crisis including rapid access to helplines and local services.

People who are lonely, sad and demoralised see no hope, but conversation costs nothing and can make the difference, said former lance corporal Mr Powell, who is based at The Lakes mental health unit on the site of Colchester General Hospital.

Its about having the belief to get through the next five minutes, then the next 10, and then the next hour.

Every life is worth it, whatever one person may think at a particular point in time"

David Powell

They can then phone one of the numbers in their back pocket or use the Stay Alive app to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about.

Mr Powells team helps ex-servicemen and women who have either been discharged from the armed forces with mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, or who encounter these problems later in life.

The service helps people overcome feelings of pride or fear that may be blocking their recovery and sets them on a path of therapy for their trauma, allowing them to reintegrate in civilian life.

Every life is worth it, whatever one person may think at a particular point in time, added Mr Powell.

Its worth it for what that person has done, what they are doing and what they are going to do.

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'Two minutes of conversation can save a life,' says mental health nurse - Nursing Times

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October 3rd, 2019 at 11:45 am

Posted in Self-Help