Jordan’s Space on Yowah Radio
Show 22 – Why you don’t need an ‘Ology’ to help someone who is suicidal – an interview with Debi Roberts, CEO of The OLLIE Foundation.
During this episode of Jordan’s Space, we’re speaking with Debi Roberts, CEO of The OLLIE Foundation, a charity that funds suicide intervention skills training for adults and organisations (including schools) working with young people.
Debi already had a successful career, prior to working with OLLIE, taking on lead roles within Hertfordshire County Council and developing a number of different projects aimed at supporting young people.
During her time with the Council, 5 years ago, during an experience with the family of a young girl who was suicidal, Debi decided to try a totally different approach to the usual safeguarding approaches she had learnt. Although this approach was not in line with the Council’s safeguarding policy, Debi says: “I didn’t care. I knew this worked and I wasn’t going to lose another young person to suicide!”. Following Debi’s intervention, not only did this young person no longer feel suicidal, her family reported that she was now thriving in life.
Debi says that all roads led her to her being invited to join The Ollie Foundation, working alongside parents who have been bereaved by suicide. During our interview, she shares how strategies and approaches using goal setting, usually more associated with the corporate business world, can have a significant impact in helping support those who are struggling with mental ill-health or feeling suicidal.
Debi also explains how you don’t need to have an ‘ology’ to help someone who is feeling suicidal and how too often it’s assumed that someone who is struggling to cope automatically has a mental illness.
You will also hear about the important work OLLIE is doing to support those who are trying to support those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.