Suicide can affect anybody and there isn’t a community in Somerset where people haven’t been touched by suicide.
Whether a hospital staff member or an owner of a local shop, we can all make a difference in reaching out and offering support to those in need. We know that if someone is having suicidal thoughts, receiving support from someone else can make a big difference.
Only a minority of people, who died by suicide, are known to mental health services. We need to raise awareness within our community and spread the message that talking to someone in distress won’t make the situation worse.
What is the Orange Button Scheme?
People who are having thoughts of suicide, or who are worried about a friend or family member, can now “push the button” when they see someone wearing a distinctive orange badge, and ask them for information and support.
The Orange Button is worn by people in Somerset who have undergone quality assured Mental Health or Suicide Prevention training: whilst they are not able to counsel people, they can help you to find relevant services locally.
The Orange Button signifies that the person displaying it is:
- OK to say/hear the word suicide
- Can listen without judgement
- Can support people with signposting
How do I sign up?
If you would like to become an Orange Button holder, you will need to have completed at least three hours of quality assured mental health or suicide prevention training. This is to ensure you are equipped with the skills to listen and signpost people.
The Orange Button Scheme is linked to (but not limited to) any one of the following funded training courses through Somerset Public Health:
- Every Life Matters – Suicide Alertness (Half Day course) – professionals and public – Every Life Matters – Somerset Events | Eventbrite
- ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) – professionals
- MHFA (Mental Health First Aid 2 day – Adult) – professionals
Once you have completed your training, you can apply to become an Orange Button holder (application form linked at the bottom of this page). You should receive your pack in the post within 2 weeks. Your pack will include: a pin badge, window sticker and a resource pack of support materials including information on signposting to local services and self-care, please take some time to read and digest this.
Ongoing Support for Orange Button Holders
At all times keep yourself well and be self-aware, wearing the badge is your choice only wear it when you feel well enough to support others.
Orange Button holders can refer to healthysomerset.co.uk/orangebutton for regular updates on local support and resources. As an Orange Button holder, you will also receive quarterly newsletters, to provide updates regarding services in the area, orange button stories and a link to complete an evaluation form to ensure that the scheme is providing benefit and feedback on use.