Council launches workshops to prevent suicide in children

CEPN training

Tower Hamlets Council is launching a series of workshops to help people identify when a child or young person may be at risk of attempting suicide, and what action to take.

Starting in October, Assessing for Suicide in Kids(ASK) is the only child suicide prevention training available in South East England.The workshops are available for people working with children aged five to15 in the borough.

In Tower Hamlets, mental health disorders are estimated to affect one in 10 children, some as young as five years old.

Today’s announcement comes ahead of World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October. Led by the World Health Organization, this year’s theme is suicide prevention.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Every suicide has a profound and wide-ranging impact and is a personal tragedy for family, friends and wider society. It’s heartbreaking that children are increasingly affected by poor mental health and suicidal thoughts. That’s why we want to equip people working with our youngest residents to spot the warning signs and know what they can do to help prevent suicide.”

The council has also started funding a new service in partnership with Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham, called Connecting Communities. The initiative aims to connect people who have been affected by mental health problems in the borough with support services. It also looks to motivate and empower people to make positive changes in their lives and offers practical support.

Councillor Amina Ali, Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: “Mental health issues can affect anyone. Good mental wellbeing is fundamental to every aspect of our lives and is a key priority for us. We offer a wide range of specialist and easy to access support services. Working with health, business and community partners, we offer a wide range of specialist and easy to access support services. Together, we will continue to strengthen the work that is going on in our borough to help people struggling with their mental health.”

Tower Hamlets and local partners are at the forefront of providing a range of support services and emergency mental health care for residents. The council works alongside the East London Foundation Trust operating a free 24 hour crisis line, which people can access if they are experiencing a mental health crisis.

The council is also supporting various events and training to mark World Mental Health Day.

The Bangladeshi Mental Health Forum will be holding an awareness event on Thursday 10 October offering: expert advice on mental health; the opportunity to hear from guest speakers; and free health checks.

In partnership with the Community Education Provider Network (CEPN), the council provides mental health first aid training to local employees across the council as well as other local statutory and voluntary sector organisations. 

The two-day training teaches staff how to identify, understand and help someone who may be developing a mental health concern. It delivers the skills and confidence to provide assistance to someone in distress and direct them to further support.

CEPN has also added further dates to its Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), which trains people to be suicide alert and intervene if they think someone may be suicidal.

Since 2017, more than 1,100 people in Tower Hamlets have completed CEPN training on suicide prevention.


For more information about this release contact the London Borough of Tower Hamlets communications team on 020 7364 4389 or email

Notes to editors

The East London Foundation Trust’s free 24-hour crisis line can be reached on 020 7771 5807.

Local events dates and times:

  • BMFH mental health awareness event

Thursday 10 October, 1pm - 3pm

Harford Street Multicentre, 115 Harford Street, London E1 4FC

For more information please contact Shamsur Choudhury on 07716 07 8840 or email

  • ASK workshops

15 and 18 October, 9am – 4.30pm

Tower Hamlets Archives and History Library, Bancroft Road E1 1DQ

Visit to book your place – a limited number of places available at no cost to people working with children in Tower Hamlets

  • BMFH mental health and wellbeing workshops

17 October and 21 November, 10.30am - 1pm

Tower hamlets Community Housing Headquarters, 285 Commercial Road, Stepney E1 2PS

To register attendance please contact Shamsur Choudhury on 07716 078840 or email

  • CEPN ASIST training

Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 November and Friday 6 and Monday 9 December, 9am - 5pm

Education Centre, Mile End Hospital, London E1 4DG

To register visit

  • CEPN mental health first aid training

Friday 11 October, Friday 18 October, Tuesday 12 November or Tuesday 19 November, 9am - 5pm

Education Centre, Mile End Hospital, London E1 4DG

To register visit 


Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019