SUICIDE OR SURVIVE
To create and deliver innovative approaches that educate, inform and inspire people to cultivate good mental health and reduce stigma leading to less death by suicide
The organisation is premised on the belief that there are gaps in existing services for those who have attempted or contemplated suicide. One of the key drivers behind the work of SOS is the desire to harness individuals’ own strengths and provide them with the tools to improve their own mental wellness. Underlying SOS’s vision is the idea that “behind every statistic on suicide and self-harm, there is a person” (Suicide or Survive 2012) and that every person has the capability of living a full life regardless of the challenges they may face in their mental health throughout their lives. Suicide or Survive started at Caroline’s kitchen table born out of her own lived experience and that of people she came into contact with. The organisation has always remained true to its roots with the influence of the lived experience of people with their mental health and their human messiness in everything it does.
The aim of the organisation is to fill the gaps in existing services for those who have attempted or contemplated suicide and to compliment other services and supports. The gaps that have been identified to date through personal experience and feedback from people who have attempted or contemplated suicide, and through available research literature include a lack of one-to-one psychotherapeutic interventions that can be easily accessed and that are not prohibitively costly to the individual and a safe space to explore experiences and seek support.
- Goal 1 – Improve the Nation’s understanding of, and attitudes to suicidal behaviour, mental health and wellbeing
- Goal 2 –Support local community’s capacity to prevent and respond to suicidal behaviour and to enhance accessibility, consistency and care pathways of services for people vulnerable to suicidal behaviour
- Goal 3 – Target approaches to reduce suicidal behaviour and improve mental health among priority groups
- Goal 4 – Develop and deliver evidence based services that meet the expressed and emerging needs of service users
- Goal 5 – Build the Suicide or Survive brand as a service provider of practical and safe services in the area of mental health and suicide prevention
- Goal 6 –Build the resources both financial and in terms of personnel to deliver on this strategy
- Goal 7– Establish SOS as best in class within the Charity Sector in terms of its Governance and Organisational Effectiveness
A world where everyone is empowered to look after their mental health and less people die by suicide
Behind every statistic on suicide and self-harm, there is a person. Based on this fundamental principle, everything we do is based on:
The dignity of the individual is paramount and we in SOS operate in a way that embodies this approach. Our guiding philosophy is that espoused by the Recovery model. This approach to mental health is a central tenet of the ‘Vision for Change’ adopted by the Irish Government in 2006 as the National Policy Framework document for Mental Health.
The principle underpinning Recovery approaches is that people can and do recover from mental health difficulties (however severe they may be) and go on to live lives of their own choosing. Recovery is a personal journey rather than an end point whereby the individual recovers or reconstructs a positive and valued sense of identity and purpose. It is about reclaiming personal control and a positive sense of self and recovering a belief and trust in oneself, a recovery of one’s voice and a belief and hope in an ability to live a meaningful contributing life despite the challenges we may confront.
Integrity, Wellbeing, Quality
Everything we do at Suicide or Survive is driven by our 3 bottom lines:
- The integrity of our purpose
- The wellbeing of our people
- The quality of our service
All three are central to the decisions we make as an organisation.
Integrity of our Purpose:
We fulfill our purpose by listening to the voice of the service user and developing and delivering services and programmes that meet their needs and offer them choice. Fulfilling this purpose is the reason we exist.
Wellbeing of our People:
We are acutely aware that without our people the organisation would not exist. We value our people by creating a workplace that fosters genuineness, personal growth and community. We focus on promoting both physical and mental wellbeing.
Quality of our Service:
Our service is developed and delivered based on 4 key principles: genuineness, understanding, respect and acceptance. Our focus is on excellence in all we do. Evaluation and continuous improvement are an integral part of every aspect of the organisation.
Honouring all of our Stakeholders:
At Suicide or Survive we are committed to honouring all of our stakeholders. This includes:
Participants: We honour the people who participate in our programmes by acting as partners rather than experts and by meeting them as equal human beings with different experiences and perspectives on life. We demonstrate this by providing a high quality physical environment and by listening to and hearing participants from their own perspective. We recognise that while we have a responsibility towards participants, we are not responsible for them – they are responsible for themselves.
Partners: Everything we do we do in partnership. We believe that it is only by working together that we can achieve our aims of a mentally healthy society where suicide rates are reduced to their minimum. We strive to create relationships with our partners based on transparency, open communication and honesty. We create equitable agreements and commit ourselves to acting with care and integrity.
Employees: We invest in the wellbeing of our employees by creating a positive work environment. We set time aside in every working day for mindfulness/meditation, healthy eating, exercise and fun. We are flexible and fair.
Funders: We honour our funders by providing high quality services and programmes that represent value for their investment. We strive for excellence in our governance to ensure that funds are used where they are most needed. We barter and bargain with our partners and invest any funds saved to expand the number of people we can provide services to.
Community: We are committed to supporting those who are working to build community through our partnership approach. We foster integration by bringing communities together to focus on mental health and wellbeing through our programmes. We emphasise the importance of supporting each other.
Earth: We honour our planet by recycling and by using recycled materials where possible. We make a conscious effort to limit our energy use.
Our Work Environment:
We recognise that people are holistic beings and encourage them to bring their whole person to the workplace. We value authenticity and know that life and mental health can sometimes get messy. We recognise that we are more than our messiness and foster an environment where people are accepted as they are and respected for their difference. We know that even when we are struggling we are capable and competent.
Our work environment at Suicide or Survive is both relaxed and active. We are focused on our work and get a lot done but we also have fun. We are creative and open, focused and relaxed.
We are aware of the many opportunities that our work provides for learning about ourselves and our impact on others and the world around us. We value personal growth and development and are constantly on the lookout for ways that we can communicate and collaborate more effectively. We seek to support the evolution of our internal relationships in SOS and our external relationships with others by creating a work environment based on genuineness, respect, understanding and acceptance.
We realise that the more we develop our relational skills the more effective we will be in achieving our mission of being a force for positive change in mental health and suicide prevention in Ireland and the wider world.