Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post.
I thought it would be nice to introduce myself as I am now working for Grassroots. My name is Drew and I work as a Project Support Officer. I have been involved with Grassroots for quite some time in various capacities but being part of this office complete with plants, snacks and an amazing team, is quite wonderful.
I have always had a strong interest in mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention. I have had numerous volunteer roles ranging from a Young Men’s Health Champion to a Peer Educator for Allsorts Youth Project. Having attended the ASIST course a few years back, I knew suicide prevention was the next area I wanted to get stuck into and make a difference. At University studying Sociology and Criminology I got to tailor my modules and I began researching and exploring mental health and suicide awareness in much more detail. I learnt that aside from small organisations including Grassroots, more needed to be done to encourage people to feel able to talk about thoughts of suicide without stigma and judgement.
“After this reflection I realised it was the first time I had a conversation of this nature.”
This then made me want to learn even more from Grassroots, so I booked myself onto more of the training workshops offered. Talking openly about mental health and suicide was quite intense at first but there was a lot of reflection to be had also. Why did I find it so intense? Why was it harder than I first thought? After this reflection I realised it was the first time I had a conversation of this nature. Growing up, I didn’t have any conversations about mental health or talking about struggles so it was a new experience for me.
Inspired and wanting to make more of a change, I started as a Community Resource for Grassroots. This entailed joining the trainers during the workshops and providing a safe space for someone to talk about thoughts of suicide or any concerns they may have on the day. I met a diverse group of people from different backgrounds but all united in wanting to create a suicide safer community. Gradually the conversations got easier and talking about suicide didn’t seem as daunting as before. Don’t get me wrong, knowing or thinking someone is struggling with thoughts of suicide is a scary experience but it is scarier not knowing what to say.
A few months later I joined as a volunteer social media assistant and enjoyed creating content that would inspire and provide hope for people who may be having thoughts of suicide. So what am I doing now? I am doing a little bit of everything. I am the lead in social media, I am learning the ropes in terms of updating the app and am on a mission to find ALL the resources so ANYONE in need can access a resource. Have a favourite resource you want to see on the app? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org ❤