A conversation with Wendy at Rethink SOS

If someone you know is struggling, you should ask them openly and directly about suicide. Simply saying, “I care about you and I’m here to help – are you thinking about suicide?” can help them stay safe.

But what if they say yes? You may feel unsure about what to do next.

It is not up to you to support them on your own. Instead, you can connect them with a network of support, which may include lifesaving services like Rethink Mental Illness SOS (Survivor of Suicide service). Based in Brighton, they provide 1-to-1 support for people who have been affected by suicide. Grassroots works with Rethink SOS, signposting people to them through our StayAlive app, website, and resource leaflets.

Wendy Robinson is the Service Manager at Rethink SOS. She has worked in mental health for many years, particularly around suicide and its related areas: prevention, bereavement, and recovery.

We spoke with Wendy about Rethink SOS and our ‘Ask Now Save Lives’ campaign.

What does Rethink SOS do?

Hello, the local Rethink Mental Illness SOS (Survivor of Suicide service) supports those who have been affected by suicide either by living with thoughts, have attempted or been bereaved by suicide. We support all adults within the Brighton & Hove areas and are part of Community Roots Mental health and Wellbeing psychosocial model. We work to support someone through 1-to-1 support who has thoughts of suicide or attempted. We also support those via 1-to-1 and group support for those bereaved by suicide.

How do you feel our ‘Ask Now Save Lives’ campaign connects with your work?

A conversation about suicide can save a live. Ask Now Save Lives: Download our Stay Alive app; Book your place on our life-saving courses; Find resources for yourself or someone else.

Prevention and identifying early pre-triggers are key to assisting someone to avoid crisis points. Grassroots visual message ‘Ask Now Save Lives’ asks us to reach out and feel ok to speak with each other in an open way. Often this can be about simply asking someone how they are, and if they are struggling with thoughts of suicide. There is a real power in having someone to talk to and listen. They don’t necessarily have to have all the answers, but just simply giving your time and listening can make all the difference. Please do also check out the Grassroots website which provides such valuable trainings, information, links and videos, which the ‘Ask Now Save Lives’ campaign links to.

Please can you tell us a bit about your film that you have produced, ‘My Journey From Suicide to Hope’

The SOS service produced a short 16-minute educational film featuring five male participants across a wide range of ages. The film promotes life after thoughts and/or attempts of suicide and identifies the support that was important to in these journeys to recovery. The men who took part also stated why they are glad they were unable to complete suicide.

These are their true-life experiences.

It took a lot of courage for volunteers to and partake in this film. All of them said it was worth it if it may assist others.


If you are thinking about suicide or worried about someone, please visit our Find Help Now page.

Find Help Now