Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland

About the Four Steps to Help Programme

During 2015 we were able to provide school visits to 90 schools and colleges and provide over 210 Four Steps to Help Programme workshops directly to our target demographic, 16-24 year olds.The charity is fully committed to increasing the number of school visits we can undertake due to exceptional demand from schools for these visits.

The Four Steps to Help Programme for Schools has been developed and approved by our Advisory Panel which includes a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist and has been deemed to be age appropriate for ages 16+. This programe works particularly well with Transition Year Classes. These school visits are fully funded by the YSPI Flower of Hope campaign as part of our outreach work and there is no cost to the school or organisation to book and host a talk.

The talks we present are based on our own “Four Steps to Help Programme” which is designed to increase awareness of suicide prevention and to provide information on the support and resources available to anyone who is concerned about suicide or is concerned about a friend or family member. The Four Steps to Help Programme for Schools focuses on providing simple, factual guidance for suicide awareness and prevention. The programme emphasises:

  • the importance of awareness of sudden changes in behaviour in friends, family or acquaintances; 
  • Understanding how to recognise the suicide warning signs, as well as signs of other mental health issues;
  • promotion of ‘active listening’, giving simple listening skills and exercises which can be used in everyday situations;
  • emphasis on making appropriate family members or other adults aware of concerns so that action can be taken;
  • practical information on dealing with a crisis situation and how to respond.

We all need to know and understand that there is always someone that we can turn to in our life and talk about the issues facing us without fear of rejection if we are prepared to take the first step. What is much more challenging is being prepared to take that first step for someone else; to face possible rejection or ridicule by being prepared to use the Four Step Programme to potentially save a life.

THE FOUR STEPS TO HELP
The Four Steps to Help Programme is a simple introduction to suicide prevention and awareness information designed for young people. The talks focus on four steps: Watching, Showing, Asking, Helping.

Step 1: Watching
This step focusses on raising awareness of the suicide warning signs and encouraging participants to watch out for sudden behaviour changes in their friends and family members.

Step 2: Showing
This step focusses on showing friends and family members that they can discuss any concerns with their friend or sibling, and they can turn to parents and trusted adults for support and advice.  This step introduces the Active Listening skillset and provides techniques and examples.

Step 3: Asking
This step focusses on simple techniques for asking someone how they are feeling and encouraging them to feel safe to talk about their concerns.  This step builds on the techniques introduced in step 2

Step 4: Helping
This step provides guidance on how to help someone you are concerned about and focusses on getting assistance from a trusted adult or directly from a medical professional.  This step also introduces a crisis scenario and provides information on how to deal with the need to get immediate assistance.  This step links to the YSPI FreeText Crisis Information service detailed on the back page of this leaflet.