Black Lives Matter

WISE STEPS – Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training (online)

WISE STEPS is an online ‘gatekeeper’ training workshop built on years of experience and best evidenced based approaches in the field of suicide prevention.

Designed, developed and delivered by Forward For Life and Common Unity, WISE STEPS provides a strong foundation for those seeking the tools needed to support people who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Course Info

Facilitators: 2
Maximum Delegate Number: 14
Duration: 3 Hours

Who is this course for:

WISE STEPS training aims to support organisations and communities to be better prepared to identify and support those at risk of suicide.

How you benefit from WISE STEPS:

  • Understand the impact of suicide and the stigma surrounding suicide.
  • Gain knowledge of the common myths and misconceptions.
  • Have a strong base line knowledge of how to identify those at risk.
  • Gain skills in open and direct dialogue on suicide.
  • Direct those at risk to appropriate support organisations.
  • Knowledge of local and national support resources.
  • Increased confidence in supporting a person who may be at risk of suicide.
  • Understand the vital importance of self-care and personal support opportunities.

Next level online learning:

WISE STEPS PLUS has been developed specifically for delegates who have already attended the WISE STEPS Gatekeeper online Training.

It provides online enhanced training opportunities to further support those who are having suicidal thoughts.

Course Info

Facilitators: 2
Maximum delegate Number: 12
Duration: 3 Hours

Who is this course for:

WISE STEPS PLUS is specifically for community members/organisations who have attended the WISE STEPS online Gatekeeper training who wish to develop their skill base further when directly supporting a person with thoughts of suicide to stay safe.

How you benefit from WISE STEPS PLUS:

  • Enhanced skills in open and direct dialogue
  • Skills in developing tailored Life Plans and assessing risk concerns.
  • Understanding and utilisation of ‘exploring safety’ techniques
  • Increased knowledge of CARE prioritisation model
  • Development of both implementation skills and observation skills through role simulation/case studies

Quality assurance

Forward For Life and Common Unity have specialised in the fields of mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention for a combined period of more than 50 years. They have designed, developed and delivered a range of training programmes across the UK to communities, the public sector and private sector. The training is delivered by Master Trainers in the internationally recognised ASIST and safeTALK suicide prevention programmes.

Our Face to Face suicide prevention training

SCHEMA is our one day course that further supports delegates with skills in developing individual Life Plans for people with thoughts of suicide. SCHEMA is delivered currently as part of the Birmingham and Solihull suicide prevention NHS programme and has been successfully delivered to as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trusts programme for reducing suicide. By attending the SCHEMA course which is our face to face eqivilent to attending our online Wise Steps Plus Suicide Prevention Training.

For more information on SCHEMA please click here.

Have any questions?

Why not get in touch with us so we can help with any inquiries you may have.

CLICK HERE to go to our contact page or call us on 07585776800

About the facilitators:

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Facilitators: Terry Rigby & Caron Thompson

Terry Rigby (Forward For Life) and Caron Thompson (Common Unity) are recognised Suicide Prevention Trainers with 50 years combined experience of working in the mental health, suicide prevention and wellbeing sector both in a strategic and operational capacity.

Since 2012, Terry and Caron have delivered suicide prevention training on behalf of Birmingham and Solihull NHS, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust. Training has also been delivered across the UK to the private sector and national charitable organisations including IBM, Crisis, GazProm, McDonalds, National Express and BetFred.

Since they began co-facilitating, over 3000 people have benefited from learning suicide prevention skills through a range of training programmes and events.

Expression of interest form

SCHEMA – An Approach to Suicide Prevention

An Approach to Suicide Prevention

SCHEMA is a suicide prevention course that supports professionals and community members in effectively helping people with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide doesn’t discriminate

Death by suicide is devastating and far reaching across our communities. It takes 3 times more lives per year in the UK than lives lost in accidents on all our roads. The most recent data tells us that over 6000 people died in the UK by suicide in one year. That means that every day, 16 people take their own lives in the UK.

But we can have an impact on this devastating act through learning skills to support a person with suicidal thoughts to consider life as an achievable plan. This course has been being designed and developed by experienced facilitators and practitioners in the fields of suicide prevention, mental health and well-being.

Who is SCHEMA for?

The SCHEMA suicide prevention course is suitable for all walks of life and this is because suicidal behaviour occurs across all our communities and is everybody’s responsibility. Whatever your background, by attending SCHEMA you will feel better prepared to support someone who has suicidal thoughts.

What would I learn?

  • Spot the signals of possible suicide ideation
  • Ask the right questions
  • Explore with empathy
  • Assess level of risk and develop a life-plan
  • Enable short-term support
  • Consider appropriate signposting
  • Learn the skills that can save lives and promote hope for the future

Our SCHEMA briefing paper 

Since 2018 we have delivered SCHEMA to over 400 delegates across the UK including delivering SCHEMA training on behalf of Birmingham and Solihull NHS CCG and the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS. For an overview of this training check out our most recent briefing paper.

What our delegates say about SCHEMA

“This was a really useful course both for professionals and people who know someone with a mental health issue. Infact, it’s useful for anyone who knows anyone who might need support”

“Will definitely recommend to others, friends and professionals. It helped me to think about suicide in a structured way to help with immediate and long-term support.”

“It was a great day and I feel much more confident now talking to people both as a professional and a friend.”

“Great days training. Reinforced my own practice and learnt new ways of working. Trainers very knowledgeable.”

Fantastic course; Very knowledgeable facilitators who used simple and precise methods to make course content very clear. Thank-you.”

If you wish to discuss SCHEMA with one of our facilitators to help you decide if this training is right for you/your organisation, please contact us.


T: 07585776800

LITA – Life is the AIM online training

LITA (Life is the AIM) was developed by Forward For Life and Common Unity with the recognition that in today’s uncertain times there is an ever pressing need to provide people with gatekeeper skills training in suicide prevention through an online platform. 

Directed at organisations and communities, LITA is a short and practical 2.5 hour online introduction to supporting people with thoughts of suicide to stay alive.

What do we mean by gatekeeper training?

In the field of suicide prevention, the term gatekeeper refers to individuals in a community who have face-to-face contact with community members regularly.

They may be trained to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or supporting services as appropriate.

The Learning Objectives of LITA

  • Understand the impact of suicide and the stigma surrounding suicide
  • Gain a knowledge of the common myths and misconceptions
  • Have a good base line knowledge of how to identify those at risk
  • Skills gained in open and direct dialogue
  • Recognise and feel able to ask the question of suicide.
  • Understand the value of listening and open and direct dialogue
  • Direct those at risk to appropriate support opportunities
  • Knowledge of local and national support resources
  • Confidence increase in supporting a person who may be at risk of suicide
  • Knowledge of importance of self-care/personal support opportunities.

Accessing LITA

Future opportunities for accessing the on-line LITA training will be highlighted in the Training Diary section of this website.

If you are thinking about LITA training being delivered to your organisation then don’t hesitate to contact us.

t. 07585776800



The Background to ManMade

Forward For Life, in partnership with Common Unity and associates developed ManMade to empower are men to have the strategies and coping skills to manage the challenges they may experience as a result of job loss including reduced financial income, loss of time structure, isolation, loss of purpose and changes in identity and relationship status.

ManMade is a very unique man orientated peer support programme. Through a range of approaches, the ManMade project supported men to talk about some of the issues they may have faced since being out of work and address some of the obstacles affecting men being able to talk about how they feel and seek help for these challenges.

ManMade Dudley – 2015

Commissioned initially by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Councils’ Office of Public Health, ManMade was a forward thinking programme that supported men between the ages of 20 and 60 to realise their full potential – initially a tailored 8 week programme providing participants with the skills and knowledge to support their own health and well-being. 

The areas covered included:
  • Confidence Building and self-esteem
  • Wellbeing
  • Physical Health
  • Nutrition
  • Social Interaction
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Mental Health Awareness

The programme sought to provide men with the coping strategies to manage distress that they may be experiencing as well as looking at how men can promote their own mental health and well-being through improved resilience.

ManMade Family – 2015

In Association with Family Action, the developers of ManMade launched an eight week programme supporting men who engage with Family Action in respect of their overall health and well-being.

This men-only peer support programme, based on the highly successful ManMade Dudley Programme, covered the themes of Positive Behaviours, Mental Health Awareness, Self Esteem, Confidence building, identity, assisting life, physical health, loss as well as coping mechanisms.

The ManMade developers, Forward For Life and Common Unity alongside specialist Grassroots Associates worked with delegates to support them to realise possibilities in life through this life affirming, men only peer support group.

The evaluation against the initial ManMade Programme in Dudley clearly demonstrated that this approach gave men a place where they felt able to open up about the world according to them in an environment where positive support and shared advice reigned supreme for the improvement of well-being across the whole group.

The effectiveness and impact of ManMade Family as a pilot programme, in partnership with Family Action was highlighted at ManMade | The Conference on June 13th 2016.

ManMade Dudley 2 – 2016

The ManMade Programme came back to Dudley in 2016. But this time it came with a twist.

Again, wth an emphasis on hope, opportunity, resilience, confidence, wellbeing, interaction and inclusion, ManMade was successful in gaining funding from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council Office of Public Health to run the programme once more, but this time it’s the members who were driving this opportunity forward.

ManMade proved to be so successful first time round at the beginning of 2015 that the men who took part in it wanted to give something back – that something being themselves. They set up their own recognised member led group and successfully won a small grant from Dudleys Office of Public Health to make ManMade Dudley (2) a reality for other men in Dudley.

With ongoing support from Forward For Life, Common Unity and Grassroots Associates, this groundbreaking approach engaged men who were struggling with life and all it threw at them.

Using the Warwick and Edinburgh Well Being Scale, the ManMade Dudley Peer Support yet again proved to be an enormous success with the men engaging with programme clearly benefiting from the process of engagement utilising a tailored approach that spoke to men and enabled them to speak up for themselves.

ManMade: The Conference

ManMade : The Conference
Men Surviving Change in an ever Changing World – June 13th 2016

These men are husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, work colleagues, guides, friends and soul mates and there is a story to be told.

Suicide affects all parts of society, but suicide rates amongst men remains markedly high in comparison to women. More traditional approaches have focussed on reducing access to means and targeting people with mental health needs to better assure suicidal behaviour and suicide completion is minimised. However, although not always with an aim of preventing suicide, there are many innovative upstream solutions that through placing emphasis on well-being, social inclusion and resilience building, support men to reconnect with life and living.

This conference brought together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of suicidal behaviour as well as forward thinking innovative organisations from across the country who work with men who need support.

To date discussions in Public Arenas had given us a wealth of knowledge in respect to clinical and wider service provision challenges, statistics, economic and human costs, theories as to the reasons specific groups of men may be more at risk than others. But whilst the debates raged on in the background and decisions were being made, individual stories from the front line were unheard. ManMade: The Conference provided the opportunities for stories of loss, survival and hope.

As part of Mens’ Health Week 2016, ManMade: The Conference threw on the table an invitation to all (and we mean everybody from all walks of life) to better understand the reasons why many men may think they would be better off dead, the impact of suicide by men, what solutions are already being developed and implemented as best practice examples as well as provide a forum where new possibilities can be considered and new partnerships developed.


Nearly 6000 people take their own lives across the UK each year. safeTALK is a half-day course that offers you practical steps to help someone with thoughts of suicide and helps you both to connect with more specialised support.

The safeTALK course was developed by LivingWorks in Canada and is delivered worldwide. It complements our more comprehensive 2 day ASIST course by widening the net of suicide alert helpers to ensure that thoughts of suicide aren’t missed, dismissed or avoided. Through attending the safeTALK course, you will know what to do if someone’s suicidal through following the easy to remember TALK steps – Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep-safe.

These practical steps offer immediate help to someone having thoughts of suicide and helps you both move forward to connect with more specialised support. The safeTALK course is based on the principles of maximum dissemination and minimum cost.

The Course is aimed at: Paid or unpaid staff providing a range of services who may have contact with individuals at risk of suicide including but not exclusive to:

  • Mental health workers
  • Other health and social care workers
  • Police & prison service staff
  • Drug and alcohol workers
  • Counselors and therapists
  • Student support services
  • Faith groups


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) trains frontline staff in early intervention. The 15-hour workshop held over two days teaches participants to connect, understand and assist people who may be at risk of suicide.

Saving Lives Through Suicide Prevention Skills – The Two Day ASIST Course is suitable for people from all walks of life. Mental health professionals, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, counsellors, youth workers, police and prison staff, school support staff, clergy, community volunteers and those training to undertake these roles have all benefited from ASIST.

As an ASIST-trained suicide alert first aid intervention Caregiver, you will be better able to:

Identify people who may have thoughts of suicide. By having this knowledge you will be better placed to provide timely support. Understand how your beliefs and attitudes can affect suicide interventions. Through understanding, you will understand the impact of stigma and the potential blockers to support.Seek and share and understanding of the reasons for thoughts of suicide and the reasons for living. Review current risk and develop a plan. A jointly agreed plan can increase safety from suicidal behaviour for an agreed amount of time. Follow up on all the safety commitments, accessing further help as needed. Through this the person at risk knows they are being well supported.

All 2 Day Courses include:

LivingWorks Accredited Certificates

LivingWorks ASIST Workbooks and other ASIST Materials licensed to this course

Other local resources relevant to the participant geographical areas of operation.

​Internationally recognised, highly reputed
The intervention is intended to prevent suicidal thoughts becoming suicidal behaviours. ASIST is underpinned by the idea that many people who are thinking about suicide will find some way to signal their intent. The workshops provide training in suicide intervention. They are designed to help a person become more ready, willing, and able to help someone who is having thoughts of suicide.

ASIST is intensive, interactive and practice dominated. The process helps caregivers — or any people of trust — recognise risk and also learn how to intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.


Above: The Hertforshire delegates trained in ASIST in April 2014 – This group of dedicated professionals from across the County are now developing their own Suicide Prevention Network known as SING.

I found the ASIST training really useful and it has made me for less worried about talking to someone wanting or thinking about ending their life
On-going research continues to best establish which suicide interventions are most effective. To date, we have the evidence to show that ASIST does give care-givers the skills and confidence to put an intervention in place. Recent evidence has also shown that for Crisis Workers on helplines, the ASIST approach is effective in saving lives. But we feel at Forward For Life that there is nothing more convincing than direct narratives from those on the ground who have been trained in ASIST.

So we asked the delegates who had been on our training whether it had been effectively employed in their day to day work – and this is what they said.


“I used the ASIST training (2014) with one of my female offenders. She came for her usual appointment and was stating that she felt the world was coming in on her. She has a diagnosed Personality disorder but the Mental Health teams were not engaged with her. I completed the ASIST approach with her and although she had no plan in place we still looked at reasons to live and reasons to die. I drew a safe plan up with her and agreed with her that she would give me 24 hours.

I referred to Mental Health teams for an assessment gave them all the information as to what i had done thus far for her and insisted that she be given an appointment as early as possible. They assessed and discharged but now have PD team involved and Forensic Mental health team.
Most importantly my client, now feels that she can cope with the interventions I am putting in place with her and has another support network beyond her time with me.”


“I have been supporting a lovely 17 year old student during her restart year after suffering a breakdown in her first year. She was very up and down and felt she was very open with me and we had a good relationship. However a few weeks ago after stockpiling medication took an overdose, telling me later she hardly remembered taking them. She woke feeling dizzy and told her sister who called 999 and thankfully her life was saved. I was very shocked but so relieved when she came to see me, still low but happy to be still here.

My ASIST training (2014) helped me to say the right things, to agree a safe plan to which she agreed and to signpost more help. She came to me as a friend and mentor and I thank god I had the ASIST training to help her. She is now having much more help and bipolar disorder is suspected”


“I found the ASIST (2013) training really useful and it has made me for less worried about talking to someone wanting or thinking about ending their life. I have used the training in a telephone call in a previous job with someone who was suicidal and had the means and a plan of how they were going to end their life. Because of the training i didn’t panic but listened to the person for quite some time before identifying some things that he wanted to live for. I talked to them about these and arranged for them to see their GP. I got them to agree to see their GP and ensured that they were seeing a friend that evening, I also arranged to call them the following day to check in and see how they were. When i spoke to them the following day they were so grateful and said that if it hadn’t been for me listening to them and caring about what happened to them, they would have killed themselves the previous day.

I’ve also used the training in my role as a counsellor – I’ve used it on a couple of occasions with clients who had been having suicidal ideation although they weren’t actively planning to kill themselves. On both occasions the clients found it helpful to be able to talk through their feelings with someone who just wanted to listen.”


“I have had to put into practice ASIST on 2 occasions since completing our training in April 2014, and all I can say is that I felt prepared for both situations. Both situations were totally different, as one was for a member of staff and the latest situation was a Yr 11 student on the last week of term.

The member of staff was directed to me for support/off load, and with the guidance from our training I was able to ask the right questions which lead to a safe plan and contacting the member of staff’s partner, and making an appointment at their Dr’s.

With regards to the yr. 11 student, with whom I had worked in the past due to self harming. I could see a difference in attitude than previously, which gave me the push to ask if they were thinking of suicide and what appeared to be relief when I asked the question she told me “yes” and told me how she wanted to end her life. Again I don’t think I would have been so direct with my questioning if I had not attended ASIST. I have now in place, support whilst she is at school completing exams. Parents are on board too, contact numbers have been given to the student and parents and CAMHS aware and updated. On the day of her telling me that she wished to end her life, we managed from not wanting to tell anyone, to agreeing a safe plan for the next 24hours until we got everyone on board.”

Employment Consultant

“If I had not had the ASIST training (2014) with Forward For Life and Common Unity I would not have had the confidence to give support to two people. As a result of the training I was able to sit for an hour and a half with a man who had tried to commit suicide to work through some of the processes he had undergone. When I arrived he was not able to sit up and was in coherent and in tears. By the end of the meeting he was able to sit up and talk rationally with me about the events leading up to the attempt. In another case the training gave me the ability to talk with a lady who admitted to me that she had contemplated suicide having been sexually harassed. The training gave me the confidence to support her. I have been able to assist her to see that her feelings of worthlessness and guilt coming out of the harassment were understandable and that what had happened was not her fault and she should not listen to her negative thought about concentrate on the positive ones.”

Company Director (Health and Well Being)

“Representatives from our organisation undertook the ASIST training (2013) for our management and support workers and we have been able to put the training to use straight away and have supported young people. One Saturday morning after an incident on the previous night, myself and a colleague were able to help this young person in crisis who confirmed to us that they had felt suicidal for a long time but no one had noticed before. Without the training received, suicide would have continued to be a subject that we as a team felt was taboo – but now have the confidence to ask questions and give support.”


“Fortunately, I have not had to use the skills and approaches learnt during the 2 day ASIST course (2013) with Forward For Life. However, attending the ASIST course has benefited me in other ways, such as helping people who are feeling low, going through bereavement, depressed, and generally feeling down. I highly recommend this both serious, and yet enjoyable course, as it helps in understanding a person’s deep-rooted misery, teaches essential techniques to stop a horrific tragedy, and enables wider awareness to further support, at risk and vulnerable individuals. Delivered in an engaging and interactive way, the ASIST course clearly meets it aims.”

Company Director – Training Consultancy

“I found the ASIST training engaging, the facilitators from Forward For Life were skilled in approaching such an emotive and sensitive subject with essence of humour and reality. I’ve become a supporter of their work and endorse their invaluable training.”