A new ‘Step Up Module’ to the Zero Suicide Alliance’s (ZSA) award-winning suicide prevention training has been launched to try and support the UK’s resilience in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown.

The new module, which takes around 10 minutes to complete, will focus on supporting someone struggling with loneliness and isolation and is designed to act as an add on module to the full ZSA training, which takes around 20 minutes to complete. It will be available via the ZSA website and introduces the skills required to identify if someone’s mental health may be suffering due to effects of the coronavirus lockdown.

Joe Rafferty, chairman of the ZSA, said: “We probably won’t know the true impact of the last few weeks and months on society until it’s all over, but we do know that many more people are admitting to struggling with their mental health since the lockdown began.

“This new Module of our training package provides a great insight to how lockdown may have affected millions of people and how we need to make sure we have the skills required to help those who might suffering in isolation. For the more than a million people who have already accessed our other training offerings this will provide further knowledge to help you support friends and loved ones.

“This training is designed to break the stigma associated with talking about our emotions, especially with regards to males. Men are three times more likely to take their own life so it is important we offer everyone support when they need it. All evidence shows that if you talk to people in the right way, empathetically and with interest about suicide and their mental health, you increase their chance of recovery.”

Since the launch in November 2017, over 1,230,000 people have taken the training. The ZSA also won five national awards its promotion in 2019.