A South West law firm has recently provided pro-bono legal advice to a Devon-based suicide prevention CIC, to help tackle the crisis across Devon, the South West and further afield.

Stephens Scown was approached by Chukumeka Maxwell, CEO of Action To Prevent Suicide CIC, who informed Partner Laurie Trounce and Solicitor Olivia Miller about the scale of the problem across the South West.

Suicide remains the biggest killer of young people and particularly men under the age of fifty, but alarmingly two-thirds of victims do not seek support from their GP or health professional. Action To Prevent Suicide’s aim is to train and work in collaborative partnerships, by supporting the establishment of networks of ‘suicide alert helpers’ who offer non-medical interventions to people with thoughts of suicide. Laurie saw a clear overlap with Action To Prevent Suicide’s work and the ethos of Stephens Scown:

“I saw that there were a number of synergies between our two companies, as we have signed the Mindful Employer Charter and are working to promote positive mental health and increase our awareness of mental health issues across our offices.”

Laurie decided to offer pro-bono support to Action To Prevent Suicide CIC off the back of this meeting, and soon got to work in helping the company with some freely-provided legal advice.

“Olivia and I supported Action To Prevent Suicide CIC by looking at its governance and structuring arrangements, in addition to conducting an options appraisal which looked at ways to help the organisation to grow and access a wider variety of funding options.

“Assisting the company in this way has put them on the path to reach their goals of training hundreds of people in a range of suicide prevention courses, and ensuring that lives may be saved through communities of support in various settings”, adds Laurie.

This work was carried out as part of Stephens Scown’s Giving Back program, which is the firm’s way of supporting local communities through actions like volunteering work, pro-bono services and environmental protection initiatives.

Stephens Scown has over 300 staff, including more than 50 partners, across its offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell. It is the highest ranking law firm from the South West in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.