07 Sep 2021

Driving Change, New Suicide Intervention Training & Education From CCRT

Recently Kayla Cooley and Caitriona McMahon of CCRT have launched a new organisation called Driving Change which provides suicide intervention training & education for groups, teams, and organisations. We recently chatted with them about how Driving Change came about and how things have developed over the last 18 months.

Kayla Cooley and Caitriona McMahon who founded Driving Change

How Driving Change Came About

The idea for Driving Change came organically, we’ve been involved with CCRT for a number of years now and we found that the demands for the training are huge. The reason we are so passionate about the training is that it’s becoming more and more obvious in the roles that we do that we can save so many people but we can’t save everyone. If however people are trained as QPR gatekeepers or trained to have adequate skills then what we find is that we have mini lifesavers that are pointing people towards us. So it’s not all left down to us. With Driving Change what’s so important about it is the flexibility it provides. With QPR training it’s a set presentation. There are areas you have to cover. The HSEs assist training is very similar (it’s also great and everyone should do it).

Our thing with it was you’re very stuck in a box, while these are great training programmes for people they were made a while ago and suicide is constantly changing and evolving. There are aspects that courses don’t hit on and don’t go through because there’s a fear around them. Driving Change lets us deliver QPR Training as part of our suicide response training. You get the certification but you’re also getting so much more. We’ll go through things like contagion, the general public doesn’t know about this particular phenomenon (which is the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one’s family, peer group, or through media reports of suicide that can result in an increase in suicide and suicidal behaviors. The general public doesn’t even know what the word is. We don’t believe in hiding information from people who are turning up to training wanting to help. 

Driving Change gives us a lot more leeway when we’re developing the training ourselves to put in information we believe is important for people to know. Suicide is changing especially with the pandemic, Kayla recently did research on the internet and suicide and one thing she discovered was people have no idea how interconnected both are. This is where Driving Change gives us the flexibility to inform people about such areas. 

A Worrying Trend Around Suicide Training & Education During the Pandemic

One other thing we have noticed in the last 18 months is that all these kinds of suicide trainings have appeared online out of nowhere with titles such as “suicide trained in 30 minutes”. We have looked at them in detail and realise just how dangerous this kind of narrative is. We have been at the forefront for several years now and what we’re finding is that every day we’re also bringing our social care training. We are bringing all of these skills such as how to look at the whole person, how to cope with the environment if you come across someone. We bring bereavement into it, we bring our research masters into it. Kayla focuses on the online, Caitriona on the trauma. This narrative of becoming suicide trained in 20 minutes online is one that needs to stop. 

If someone is suicidal you have to be prepared to hear what they’re going to say. If you’re not properly trained or done the right work yourself you can be quite vulnerable, or triggered yourself. We make people aware of these things and we chat through these different things.

Since the launch, there has been a terrific response and we’ve been putting on training sessions online and we currently have several in-person trainings scheduled over the next couple of weeks. 

Want to Attend Their Training Courses?

Getting ready for a training session they recently did with ICHAS students.

To learn more about their range of training services email them at info@drivingchange.ie

You can also follow them on Instagram