A CHARITY based in Gloucestershire has won a national award for services to mental health.
Suicide Crisis, which provides a service for people across Gloucestershire, won the ‘most Innovative Mental Health Intervention’ award at the UK Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards 2021.
The judging panel, which included members from the NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Southampton and leaders of mental health charities, felt that the impact Suicide Crisis is having is ‘very clear’.
They were also impressed with the ‘commitment to helping people survive suicidal crisis’.
“This award means so much to us all,” said CEO Joy Hibbins.
“The combination of Suicide Crisis Centre, home visits and emergency phone lines places a safety net around our clients. It gives them more ways to access our help when they are in crisis.”
Accepting the award via video link, the CEO paid tribute to charity’s “strong and wonderful team, who are so dedicated.”
She also commented that the award was particularly meaningful, because the team had continued to provide a face-to-face crisis service throughout the pandemic.
The charity was set up in 2012 after Joy’s own experience of suicidal crisis, as she felt that there was a need for an alternative approach to that of psychiatric crisis services.
The team at the Suicide Crisis Centre have counselling training and suicide intervention skills training, as well as input from psychiatric clinicians, particularly in relation to risk assessing. An advising psychiatrist is on hand to advise the team in specific situations that arise.
The work of the Suicide Crisis Centre has previously attracted international attention.
The Ministry of Health in New Zealand contacted the charity while they were planning their new national suicide prevention strategy. This led to further contact and communications, and the Ministry of Health subsequently described the work of the Suicide Crisis Centre as “inspiring”. They informed the charity that its work was “supporting other work across the world”.
Stephen Fry has said about the awards: “Mental health difficulties affect us all at some point so it’s wonderful to see awards that celebrate people who have an impact on people’s wellbeing.”
The Suicide Crisis Centre operates 365 days a year. The core hours are between 9am and 10pm, but clients at high risk of suicide have access to 24 hour support.
The charity’s website is at