The Purpose of Connections Link Life
Connections Link Life is a Suicide Prevention & Intervention Curriculum. It is unique in that it is entirely focused on creating a transformational learning experience for those who engage with the Connections Link Life course through our highest held values; CONNECTION, HUMANITY & HOPE. The model is created in the context of trauma growth and focuses on bringing about attitudinal change, positive behavioural change, hope & healing. The Connections Link Life Curriculum HELPS SAVE LIVES.
A flexible curriculum for a diverse population
The curriculum can be offered as a single programme or delivered over a number of smaller sessions. The curriculum can also be delivered through adopting a range of approved methodologies. This approach empowers facilitators to engage and meet the unique needs of different learners in order to bring about meaningful change.
Past, Present & Future Support for Connections Link Life
The delivery of this curriculum has proved exceptionally successful. An external evaluation carried out with the Public Health Agency NI (PHA) was implemented to robustly test its impact over a 2-yr period and this report highlihgted; the strong evidence base for the programme content, good governance in programme delivery structures, adherence to best practice and quality delivery standards and many hugely positive impacts for learners, workplaces and communities.
Since then this suicide prevention & intervention curriculum has been supported by the PHA to assist them in meeting unmet need for easily accessible training that inspires help seeking and saves lives locally.
Connections Link Life is now well established in all the Health & Social Care Trust Areas in Northern Ireland. Early adopters include EA FLARE team, Extern, Health & Social Care Trusts and the Public Health Agency NI and by March 2020 300 sessions had been delivered province wide in Northern Ireland. In the first year of the pandemic the charity Fresh Minds Education felt morally obliged to serve local people in their greatest time of need, particulary in the absence of other training being offered. Despite its own pressures, The charity devoted itself entirely to translating this curriculum for online engagement. The curriculum very quickly was adopted by services and the population reached 1500 individuals online in its first year alone.
The focus for the next phase of this work is to establish an enthusiastic, professional team of facilitators who are able to cascade this curriculum locally. We are delighted to finally be in a position to offer Connections Link Life Training of Trainers to individuals, organisations and businesses who want to proactively save more lives.
As a facilitator you can expand your portfolio over time. Once you have completed this foundational training of trainers, you can access a wider Connections Curriculum.
- Connections Operations Link Life – Suicide Prevention & Intervention for Veterans & Families of Veterans (available)
- Transform life – Trauma growth and recovery self care programme (available next in 2024)
- Youth suicide prevention materials and programmes (currently under pilot)
- Senior Facilitator & Leadership Training (available)
How to Apply
1. Complete the Connections Link Life T4T Application
2. Interviews help us ensure that you are clear about the expectations of delivering Connections Link Life and help us ensure that you are suited for this role.
3. Successful candidates will receive confirmation by email from FME and a welcome letter with all of the details you will need to come prepared to the 2-day training which will be held in person unless otherwise stated.
Criteria & Application Form for Connections Link Life T4T Participant
Applicants must be able to
- Complete the 2-days training in full
- Complete and submit the Facilitator Learning Log within 6 months of the T4T event, to gain approved facilitator status
- Deliver 2 sessions per year
- Safely support a person with thoughts of suicide who may present at your Connections Link Life session and provide supportive follow up (if required)
- Commit to ongoing professional development in this field of work
Applicants need to be able to demonstrate
- An understanding of the needs of people who have difficulties with mental health or suicide
- Completion of a recognised suicide intervention training or professional equivalent
- Ability to deliver independently and co-facilitate
- Excellent group facilitation skills working with 6 – 40 people
- Access to suitable equipment (laptop & speakers) and the skills to operate and troubleshoot IT for the purposes of delivering this training
Applicants will have a commitment to
- Adhere to Connections Link Life programme fidelity and delivery standards and comply with the Connections Link Life Membership Agreement
- Act as an Ambassador for Connections Link Life, promoting the benefits of participation
- Complete administration elements eg participant registration, order participant materials and submit your Connections Link Life Facilitator Report after each session
- Comply with the PHA Quality Standards for Services Promoting Mental and Emotional Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention
Applicants who will have their Connections Link Life T4T facilitator fees waived will commit to
- Undertake a small profile-raising fundraiser for Fresh Minds Education to support the future provision of this life saving, life affirming, hope filled curriculum and or;
- Deliver 1 session on or around World Suicide Prevention Day or World Mental Health day as part of the annual Connections Link Life Training Campaign