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Independent retailers across Portsmouth will be given FREE specialist training in how to recognise when customers are having suicidal thoughts.

Dozens of shopkeepers, tattooists and other independent retailers across Portsmouth will be given specialist training in how to recognise when customers are having suicidal thoughts, and how to offer to help, thanks to a grant from Portsmouth Community Lottery.

Tonic has been awarded £2,000 to pilot two four-hour suicide first aid courses.

40 local independent retailers will be able to attend these courses free of charge in order to learn how to spot when someone may be having suicidal thoughts, how to approach starting a potentially tricky conversation and how signpost them to appropriate help.

Suicide First Aid Tutor Jade Hughes will be leading the courses.

Jade said:

“It’s not always family and friends who are the first to notice signs that someone may be suicidal. It might be that a shopkeeper has noticed a change in behaviour – maybe someone’s stockpiling medication, or purchasing alcohol more frequently. Or people might open up to a bartender, hairdresser or tattoo artist in a way they might not to those closest to them. We want to give independent retailers the ability to recognise the warning signs and to feel confident in approaching that conversation.”

Tonic has approached a number of retailers directly, and would like to hear from others who are interested in attending a course. If you would like further information please email [email protected]

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