A suicide prevention project has expanded into Lincolnshire, including a suicide crisis text service and emotional and social support groups.
The Tomorrow Project offers a suicide crisis text service in Lincolnshire, which is open to anyone over the age of 18 and available every Wednesday between 5pm and 7pm.
The number to text is 07800 140 818. It offers one-to-one support through text message where people can talk about anything they are going through or that is on their mind.
The Tomorrow Project was first launched a decade ago in 2012 in response to suicides in Nottinghamshire to provide suicide and bereavement support.
In March this year the service was expanded into Lincolnshire and is funded by Shine Lincolnshire.
Laura Hughes is a Clinical Support Worker for the Tomorrow Project, working with the suicide crisis pathway in Nottinghamshire. She is now involved in helping the service grow in Lincolnshire with the text service and emotional and social support groups.
The person supporting them can sending coping strategies or grounding techniques, and safety planning exercise, as well as giving practical support including signposting or onwards referrals. Outside of these hours, an autoresponder will signpost people to national services which can help them or people can text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258.
In addition, the Tomorrow Project also runs virtual emotional and social support groups for men in Lincolnshire. The sessions are held on Wednesdays (5pm-7pm) and Fridays (10am-12pm) – fill out a referral form here or email [email protected].
Laura, from The Tomorrow Project, told The Lincolnite: “At the moment in Lincolnshire, in terms of suicide crisis support, there is very little and we wanted to make sure that people who are not eligible for NHS treatment have somewhere else to go.
“I think because of COVID, amongst other things, I think mental health is an issue nationwide. We’ve seen a huge increase in referrals to our own services, triple the amount since before the pandemic, and other services across England have seen similar things.
“In terms of people’s mental health, more people are coming to us and staying with us for much longer. People are worried about their health, struggles with adapting to life without restrictions, and also bereavements, and financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
“With Lincolnshire, there is a big engagement from the farming community which is a vulnerable group we have intentionally tried to reach. Everyone is struggling as a result of the pandemic and this is why suicide crisis services are needed more than ever.”
The Tomorrow Project is keen to raise more awareness about its service in Lincolnshire, with Laura adding: “The feedback (from people using the service) is that we’ve responded quickly, they felt listened to and cared about, and they were free to speak about what they wanted.”