A nurse who leading a mental health service for military veterans has urged people thinking of taking their own lives to talk to someone.

David Powell is leader of the East Anglia Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust’s campaign started on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and will run until World Mental Health Day (October 10).

It is encouraging people to download Stay Alive, a suicide prevention self-help tool, and to complete the 20-minute online suicide prevention training run by the Zero Suicide Alliance.

“Two or three minutes of conversation could save your life,” said Mr Powell. “Just pick up the phone and have a chat, even if it’s with the milkman, the lady next door or the guy you buy your newspaper from. Have that interaction.”

Mr Powell is urging people to download the free self-help app and complete the 20-minute online training course offered to vulnerable people.

His course is especially designed to ex-servicemen and women who have either been discharged from the Armed Forces with mental health conditions.

“People who are lonely, sad and demoralised see no hope, but conversation costs nothing and can make the difference,” said the former lance corporal, who is based at The Lakes mental health unit on the site of Colchester General Hospital.

“It’s about having the belief to get through the next five minutes, then the next 10, and then the next hour.

“They can then phone one of the numbers in their back pocket or use the Stay Alive app to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about.”

“Every life is worth it, whatever one person may think at a particular point in time,” said David, a clinical lead nurse specialist who has worked for the Trust for 20 years.

“It’s worth it for what that person has done, what they are doing and what they are going to do.”

Further information about the app is available here: https://www.prevent-suicide.org.uk/stay_alive_suicide_prevention_mobile_phone_application.html

Further information about the Zero Suicide Alliance’s online training is available here: https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training/