Tuesday 19 July 2016

Lets Tackle Suicide Together!

Community members supporting suicide prevention activities in our city through fundraising challenges and in memory pages.

Grassroots teaches suicide alertness and intervention skills to community members and professionals. Since 2006 we have trained over 5,000 people in suicide prevention and mental health. Together we can make our communities safer from suicide.

£2 a month
7p a day could buy a set of training materials for a suicide first aider

£5 a month
17p a day could train a suicide alert helper in safeTALK each year

£19 a month
64p a day could train someone in life-saving suicide intervention skills

£64 covers the cost to train someone in safeTALK suicide alertness

£655 pays for a safeTALK suicide alertness workshop for up to 30 people

Bow Chung and Frit Sarita Tam - South Coast Challenge

Bow and Frit are friends who make up "Team Banana Fritters" and are taking part in a 50km trek as part of the South Coast Challenge. 

Bow and Frit both have a goal of raising £250 each through this challenge.

The South Coast Challenge is on the 27th August 2016. You can find Bow's fundraising page here and Frit's fundraising page here.

Team Caveman

Mark, Paul, Andrew, Rob and Kevin are "Team Caveman" and are cycling 85 miles from Dublin to Wexford for Grassroots because they want to raise suicide prevention for their friend Rob.

They have a goal of £2000 between them and the event is on the 17th September 2016. 

You can donate to Team Caveman by pressing here.

John George- In Loving Memory of Suzi George

John is requesting donations for Grassroots as we are a charity his wife believed in. John's JustGiving page can be found here.

Ellie King has recently finished her challenge, the Ram Run in memory of her Auntie. She managed to raise an impressive £520 from her goal of £300 and you can still donate to Ellie's fundraising page by clicking following this link.

In Memory of Dan Jenkins

This JustGiving page has been set up to fundraise for Grassroots in memory of Dan Jenkins who sadly passed away on the 10th April 2016. You can donate here.

In Memory of Jona Mccann

Last Sunday, BarMob organised a suicide prevention fitness challenge event in memory of local man Jona. They each challenged themselves to 365 reps of a range of difficult weight/fitness exercises. They have managed to raise an incredible £592.76 so far, and there's still time to donate by simply clicking here. 

Rita and Evie's London to Paris Adventure

On July 20th, Rita Dingwall and her trusted bike "Evie" will start an epic four day cycle challenge in aid of Bike 4 Cancer, Grassroots Suicide Prevention, East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal and Age Concern Heathfield and District. 

Rita will cover 95 miles on day one, 75 miles on her second day, 70 miles on the third day and will then cycle 60 miles to Paris on her final day! Please donate to Rita's adventure by clicking here. 

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Nutrition for Anxiety and Depression

Guest Blog by Lottie Maria, Health and Nutrition writer, blogger at Beauty Science Magic, Neuroscientist and Clinical Nutrition student.

I used to suffer very badly from anxiety and remember the frustration of not knowing how to treat it. I realised that a lot could actually be done in terms of self care, diet and lifestyle. In particular, I learnt how some foods were over-stimulating for my body, and I was sensitive to them; for example, if I had a really sugary meal, or lots of chocolate or caffeine (even from a coffee) my heart would race and this would instigate anxiety and sometimes, a full blown panic attack. I also noticed how having low blood sugar levels also contributed to a feeling of nervousness, anxiety and low moods. I decided to try and conquer my anxiety and aimed to eat nourishing, whole foods and ditching sugary, over stimulating foods with minimal nutritional benefit. Here are my top tips for nutrition and eating to boost mood and well-being.

1. Eat colourful foods and prepare meals in advance 

Beautiful, vibrant meals and healthy comfort food and taking the time to do this is an incredibly important part of self care. We are incredibly visual and eating attractive, delicious, colourful food is mood boosting in itself. Sometimes motivation may be lacking, but put a load of roast vegetables in the oven and when cooked, mix with quinoa, salad and nuts, or humous and you can have for lunch and dinner for the next day.

  • Roast chopped sweet potatoes in the oven with olive oil, garlic cloves and smoked paprika until soft and brown. Mix with avocado, plum tomatoes and chickpeas. 
  • Try a rainbow salad or rainbow pizza. Mix tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, sliced oranges, sweetcorn, spinach, avocado and beetroot with your favourite dressing. I love balsamic, olive oil, and ground almonds. Top with roasted seeds or nuts. For a pizza, layer all of your favourite vegetables on a pizza base.

2. Avoid sugar crashes, and keep your electrolytes in check. 

I always try and eat foods full of potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc as I know they are really important to nervous system health. I can get mood lows if I go periods without eating so I always carry a bag of mixed nuts and raisins, dried fruit, oat cakes, coconut water, or a banana to help keep my moods consistent and sugar levels the same. My go-to energy snack is oatcakes with peanut butter and chopped fruit - full of sustained energy and protein.

3. Eat foods rich in B-vitamins, selenium, and essential fatty acids

Certain B-vitamins have been shown to have mood boosting effects in depression, and they also help with vital energy metabolism, which could help sustain energy and release energy from food. Low levels of certain B vitamins are linked to depression and post-natal depression. The best sources of B vitamins nutrients include leafy greens, and fortified cereals. B vitamins work best taken with other B vitamins as a complex, feel free to speak to your doctor about this supplement.

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids such Omega 3, 6 and 9 have been found to elicit an anti-depressant effect due to their role in neurotransmitter synthesis and function. I often add flax seed oil and avocado into a smoothie in the morning, which is a great way of getting these fatty acids into my diet at the beginning of the day.


A study by Dr David Benton at the University of Wales found that low selenium levels is associated with depression and low mood. Dr Benton also found selenium supplementation to improve mood and reduces anxiety symptoms. Foods rich in selenium include: brazil nuts, cashew nuts and sunflower seeds.

Read more about health, nutrition and beauty products at: Beauty Science Magic "The science behind the beauty".


Thursday 2 June 2016

Guest Blog: Things I Wish I Knew - In Loving Memory of Saagar Naresh, by Sangeeta Mahajan

This is a guest blog by consultant anaesthetist Dr Sangeeta Mahajan, mental health activist and blogger.

It was a tsunami that hit and took off chunks of my heart, my reality, sanity and future with it. I was utterly unprepared for the nightmare that was about to ensue.

One sunny autumn afternoon 18 months ago, two policemen showed up at my doorstep to tell me that my son’s body had been found nearby. Apparently Saagar had ended his own life. They handed me his belongings but I was convinced they had made a mistake. This was not within the realm of possibilities.

He is a handsome talented young man of 20 with a fabulous education and everything to live for. How could this be? He had a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder but the doctors had me believe that he was getting better. No one ever mentioned the word ‘suicide’ to me.

I was numb but something in me had a strong desire to write. Having never written or read a blog before, we set up an account and I started writing kidsaregifts the same night and have written every day since. Its my way of spending time with Saagar, healing and sharing what I learn.

Things I wish I knew

I could write a book on the things I wish I had known.
I know a few of them now but he's already gone.
I wish I'd known that self-destructive, suicidal thoughts can come to anyone, at any time, irrespective of how good-looking, clever or wealthy they are or what race, religion, sex or profession they belong to.
I wish I knew that suicide claims the precious lives of many a young men every year.
I wish I knew how difficult it is for those having these treacherous thoughts to talk about them and ask for help.
I wish I knew the accompanying shame and guilt as though it was their own fault.
I wish I knew how unwell he was.
I wish I could see his soul invisibly bleeding to death.
I wish his doctor could see it.
I wish the medication he was put on had been the right one for him.
I wish someone had told me the warning signs to watch out for and recognise 'crisis' when it happened.
I wish I knew how to read into his desperation and help him open up, feeling safe.
I wish I knew how to break through the wall of silence that surrounded him.
I wish I knew that he meant 'suicidal thoughts' when he said 'random thoughts'.
I wish I understood his pain and confusion.
I wish I knew that despite having the world at his feet he secretly wanted to escape from it.
I wish that I knew that even though he was my darling son and was only 20, he could die.

Most of all I wish I knew how to think and talk about suicide.

Sagaar Naresh

To read other articles Sangeeta has written see below:

1. For Mental Health Awareness Week 2016:  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sangeeta-mahajan/mental-health-awareness-week_b_9865518.html

2. Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11854612/Im-a-doctor-but-that-didnt-save-my-son-from-suicide.html

3.  Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sangeeta-mahajan/suicide-the-silent-epidemic_b_8904102.html

4. Blog in the memory of Saagar: www.kidsaregifts.wordpress.com

"I started writing it on the day he passed away and have been writing everyday since. It helps me and I think it helps others too. I was pretty blank when I started writing it but the intention must have been to stop this from happening to other parents. It starts from day 0 in October 2014 (in archives)."


If you or someone you love is in mental health crisis (UK), please contact the
Samaritans on 116 123.

Opening times: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Website: www.samaritans.org

Or see our Suicide Prevention Resources page on our website.

Or download the free #StayAlive Suicide Prevention App: find out more here.

Friday 8 April 2016

Part-Funded Training in Brighton and Hove 2016

Grassroots is thrilled to announce that we are delivering a number of part-funded, self-injury, mental health and suicide prevention courses throughout 2016.

Courses include:

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness For Everyone
US: Understanding Self-Injury
One in Four: Mental Health Awareness
MHFA: Mental Health First Aid

Funding for the training has come from Public Health at Brighton and Hove City Council, and the training is available to front-line service staff and volunteers working in Brighton and Hove. 

To be eligible for a funded place you must currently be working or volunteering in Brighton and Hove.

As a guide, training places are  limited to 3 places per course, per organisation.  If you are unsure about your eligibility for a funded place, or would like further information please contact Grassroots Suicide Prevention directly at:
office@prevent-suicide.org.uk or on 01273 675764.

Please check our booking website regularly for updates and new courses, click 'Book Now'.

 Eventbrite Booking Website


Valley Social Centre,
Whitehawk Way,


ASIST : Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training 
(2 days)

A comprehensive, evidenced based and highly regarded course that teaches a robust and practical model of suicide intervention.

For further details, and to book a place, please use the links below:

28th April 2016

21st June 2016

SafeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone (half day)

An accessible course, that teaches a four-part model to provide an initial response to a person with thoughts of suicide.

For further details, and to book a place, please use the link below: 

25th May 2016


US: Understanding Self-Injury (half day)

An awareness and educational training course with an informal style, emphasis on experimental learning and participation.

For further details, and to book a place, please use the links below:

12th May 2016


One in Four: Mental Health Awareness (half day)

A highly-regarded myth-busting educational awareness workshop for anyone who needs to learn more about experiences of mental health.

For further details, and to book a place, please use the links below:

10th October 2016


MHFA: Mental Health First Aid (2 days)

Learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively signpost towards support services.

For further details, and to book a place, please use the links below:

15th & 22nd April 2016

9th & 16th June 2016


Thank you,
Grassroots Team