NHS Greater Manchester has commissioned life-saving online training to support those who are concerned that a person with autism that they know may be at risk of suicide.

There can be a variety of contributory factors that increase suicide risk for people with the condition.

These can include: finding it difficult to communicate their thoughts or struggle to find words to express their emotions, a tendency to mask, which is when an autistic person actively hides their autistic traits during social situations in order to be accepted by non-autistic peers.

This training aims to give people the confidence and skills to talk to an autistic person they believe may be thinking of suicide.

The Bolton News:

Developed by Zero Suicide Alliance, who have a number of training packages for suicide awareness and prevention, the training is for anyone who cares for, works with or has a personal and professional relationship with an autistic person.

It has been developed in partnership with a steering group of more than 200 people.

The training includes the possible warning signs to look for which may show a person is at risk of suicide, how to have a life-saving conversation, what support to signpost people to and even includes videos based on the real experiences of autistic people.

To coincide with World Autism Acceptance Week (2–8 April), over 1,000 people registered to join an online launch event for the training.

Adele Owen, NHS Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Lead, said: “Autistic people face barriers in many areas of society.

READ MORE: Frank Bruno and TOWIE's Ferne McCann star at It’s Mental Live

READ MORE: Bolton Hospital's community diagnostic centre developers make donation

READ MORE: Work on new Horwich Health Hub and car park to finish soon

"Launching our new training package during World Autism Acceptance Week feels like an appropriate opportunity to highlight that suicide is a leading cause of early death for autistic people, and that work needs to be done to ensure the right support is in place for them.

“At NHS Greater Manchester, we believe that every suicide is preventable if we break the stigma around suicide, so that people feel comfortable in speaking up and finding the right support.

"Our Shining a Light on Suicide campaign aims to take the subject out of the dark by encouraging everyone in Greater Manchester to talk openly about suicide, suicidal thoughts and suicide bereavement.

"This training is an important part of that."