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Presentations and recordings from the NSPA’s Annual Conference 2021: Suicide prevention in a changing world, as well as previous years’ conferences.

Every year, the NSPA hosts its suicide prevention conference, bringing together professionals with an interest in suicide prevention across the private, public and voluntary sector to network, learn and share.

NSPA’s 7th annual conference, ‘Suicide prevention in a changing world’, took place online on Thursday 28th January 2021.

This year’s conference included plenary talks on: the national strategy and the impact of Covid-19; lessons learned from waves 1-3 of NHS England suicide prevention funding; national progress on real time suicide surveillance; and national and local work to reduce online harms.

Plenary speakers were:

  • Nadine Dorries MP, Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. Talking via video link. View the recording

  • Lydia Grace, Online Harms Programme Manager, Samaritans, Hayley Martin, Health Improvement Principal, Public Health, East Sussex Council and Dr Ian Marsh, Suicide-Safer Project Lead & Reader, School of Allied and Public Health Professions, Canterbury Christ Church University. View the recording  Download the presentation slides: Lydia Grace, Hayley Martin, Ian Marsh

Morning workshops:

Afternoon workshops:

A full programme from the event is available here.

Previous NSPA conference resources

The NSPA’s 6th suicide prevention conference: ‘Suicide prevention: from community to clinician’ took place on Tuesday 28th January at the Kia Oval, London. Over 300 people came together to network, learn and share.

“I thought the day was excellent, I loved hearing from those affected by suicide bravely talking about their stories and how they influence change in services .”

Nadine Dorries MP, Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety. Talking via video message to the conference about progress against national strategy and ministerial priorities.

Plenary speakers included:

Steve Gilbert, Serious Mental Illness Living Experience Consultant

Professor Louis Appleby, National Director for Mental Health in England and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester

Jacqui Morrissey, Assistant Director, Research & Influencing, Samaritans

Please click here to view all the presentations from the day.

A full programme from the event is available here.

The NSPA’s 5th suicide prevention conference: ‘Suicide prevention across the life course’ took place on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at the Kia Oval, London.

Over 250 people from across the public, private and voluntary sectors came together at for our conference ‘Suicide prevention across the life course’. It was a very busy day, and we’ve had some great feedback.

“Excellent conference! Powerful content and lots of information – very thought provoking. Thank you!”

Plenary speakers:

  • Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Minister for Suicide Prevention
  • Professor Louis Appleby, National Director for Mental Health in England and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester
  • Professor Ellen Townsend, Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham
  • Clare Dickens, Senior Lecturer on Mental Health at the University of Wolverhampton
  • Charley James – speaking from her personal experience
  • Professor Nav Kapur, Head of Research at the Centre for Suicide Prevention at the University of Manchester
  • Xenia Koumi, Project Officer at the City of London Corporation
  • Professor David Owens, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds
  • Jolie Goodman, Programme Manager for Empowerment & Later Life at the Mental Health Foundation  
  • Robert Peacock, Time to Change Champion – speaking from his personal experience

Please click here to view the presentations.

A full programme from the event is available here.

The NSPA’s 4th suicide prevention conference: Local Action, National Impact was held on 31st January 2018.

The conference focused on the development and evaluation of local suicide prevention plans, with further sessions on men and suicide, lived experience, and other high-risk populations.

It brought together more than 230 delegates working in suicide prevention across the UK,  who heard presentations and took part in workshops with a wide range of experts in the field including those with lived experience.  You can see the conference programme here.

Reflections from plenary speakers and NSPA Steering Group members about NSPA Conference 2018:

The NSPA’s third suicide prevention conference Suicide prevention: the changing conversation was held on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at The Kia Oval in London.

The 2017 conference focused on looking at how the conversation around suicide has changed and its increasing political and public profile.

Secretary of State’s video message to delegates:

Speakers included:

  • Professor Louis Appleby, Chair, National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group
  • Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair, West Midlands Mental Health Commission
  • Malcolm Rae OBE, Trustee Chair, State of Mind, Dr Phil Cooper, Trustee Secretary, State of Mind, and Danny Sculthorpe, Trustee, State of Mind
  • Professor Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England
  • Cllr Richard Kemp, Deputy Chair of the Community Wellbeing Board, Local Government Association
  • Pat Nicholl, Mental Wellbeing Lead, Champs Public Health Collaborative
  • Miranda Frost, Founder & former CEO, Grassroots Suicide Prevention
  • David Crepaz-Kay, Head of Empowerment & Social Inclusion, Mental Health Foundation
  • Helen Garnham, National Programme Manager Public Mental Health, Public Health England

Breakout sessions were delivered on the following topics:

  • Local suicide prevention planning
  • Suicide in autism
  • Local suicide prevention initiatives
  • Services and Trusts Integrating To improve Care in self Harm
  • Learning from child suicides
  • Making sense of national and local data
  • Exploring the use of the internet in relation to suicidal behaviour
  • Talking about suicide on HOPELineUK
  • Delivering a suicide bereavement liaison service

The NSPA’s second suicide prevention conference Empowering Communities through Collaboration was held on Tuesday 2nd  February at The Kia Oval in London.

The NSPA believes in engaging the whole of society in suicide prevention and the 2016 conference focused on empowering local action and collaboration to achieve this.

Speakers included:

  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community & Social Care
  • Professor Louis Appleby CBE, Chair, National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group
  • Heather Stokes, Vice President, Strategic Development, LivingWorks International
  • Gregor Henderson, National Lead Wellbeing & Public Mental Health, Public Health England
  • Jonny Benjamin, Mental Health Campaigner

Delegates were provided with the latest information on a wide range of initiatives, including:

  • Zero Suicide: experiences from two pilot sites
  • Men’s Sheds: A community suicide prevention programme
  • Suicide bereavement services
  • Suicide Safer Communities
  • Reducing suicide on the railway
  • Suicide Liaison Services
  • Services and Trusts Integrating To improve Care in self Harm
  • Risk and resilience: identifying and supporting men
  • Suicide and the media
  • Suicide and offenders

The NSPA’s first ever suicide prevention conference One World Connected was held on Tuesday 3rd February at The Kia Oval in London.

The conference brought together over 200 people from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to discuss the challenges of suicide prevention, and share knowledge and good practice from across the country. Delegates included representatives from:

  • local councils
  • public health teams
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Mental Health Trusts
  • voluntary organisations
  • community interest companies
  • training providers
  • the rail industry
  • criminal justice
  • police
  • people with lived experience of suicide

The programme of speakers and workshop contributors included some of the field’s leading figures, including Professor Louis Appleby, Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group and Professor Keith Hawton, Director of the Centre for Suicide Research at the University of Oxford.

Workshops covered:

  • whole community approaches to suicide prevention
  • approaches to local implementation of the strategy
  • suicide bereavement
  • supporting people at the point of crisis
  • responding to suicide contagion and suicides in public places

The full conference programme can be found here.

Health Minister Norman Lamb opened the event, telling delegates

“There is no more important work than suicide prevention. Suicide needs to be openly debated and talked about in a way which has not happened in the past.”

The Minister also referenced figures from the recent report from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention ‘Inquiry into the State of Local Suicide Prevention Plans in England’ which found around a third of Local Authorities do not have suicide prevention plans or multi-agency suicide prevention groups and do not review local data on suicide. This gap in suicide prevention needs to be addressed.

“If we work together and if we give mental health and suicide prevention the priority they deserve, we can make sure that people are both healthy and happy.”

The Minister’s address was followed by a session led by Professor Louis Appleby and Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England looking at the national picture for suicide prevention.

Professor Appleby reported that suicide figures had risen by around five per cent in 2013 according to Government statistics and the group most at risk are middle aged men in their 40s to early 50s.

Professor Fenton spoke of the work that Public Health England is doing to reduce suicides including the development of guidance on responding to suicides in public places, geographic suicide contagion and the impact of social media, as well as identifying at risk groups.

The afternoon brought the focus back to the individual and the impact of suicide on all involved. Hamish Elvidge, Co-Chair of the NSPA and Chair of The Matthew Elvidge Trust spoke movingly of his own family’s experience following the suicide of their son Matthew in 2009 and emphasised the importance of building resilience and a better understanding of the value of looking after your mental health from a young age. Dr Andrew Reeves, Chair of the BACP and author of ‘Counselling suicidal clients’ reminded delegates that professionals are impacted by suicide too, and he spoke openly and honestly about his experience of losing a client to suicide and the need to address fears around talking about suicide.

The response to the day was overwhelmingly positive with delegates sharing their thoughts on Twitter via #NSPAconf

All in all, it was a good day and NSPA Co-Chair Alison Mohammed and Chief Operating Officer at Rethink Mental Illness said:

“This conference is an opportunity to bring people together and to share best practice. To keep suicide prevention at the top of the agenda, we need all sections of society to work together to reduce suicide and improve support for those bereaved by suicide.

“Encouraging at risk groups and indeed everybody, to seek help early and to publicise the support available for those who are struggling, is crucial.”