NSPA Conference 2022 Workshops

Please find below the details of the workshops on offer at our Conference, 27th January 2022, which will be held online.

Morning workshops

Exploring how we can make the internet a safer space for individuals experiencing self-harm and suicidal feelings


The session will explore the latest research exploring the impact of self-harm and suicide content online that has been conducted as part of the Samaritans’ Online Excellence Programme. This research investigates what content is most likely to cause harm and what we can learn from changes in the ways that users are talking about suicide online. We will also discuss the upcoming bill and what this will mean for platforms hosting user generated self-harm and suicide related content that could potentially be upsetting or triggering for others, provides detail or instruction around methods of harm or contains graphic depictions and descriptions. Whilst the Bill and forthcoming regulation is greatly needed, it is essential to ensure that helpful content is not inadvertently removed and users are not further stigmatised and cut off from vital sources of support. We will therefore discuss novel ways in which we can support vulnerable users and provide a safer and more supportive online environment.

First Hand: making sense of the memories and emotions following the suicide of someone you didn’t know

Support After Suicide Partnership, Grassroots and Thrive London

Helping people to make sense of the thoughts and emotions after witnessing a suicide is an important challenge; yet it is too often not talked about and there is little support. Grassroots, Thrive LDN and SASP led a forum of frontline services and people with lived experience to address the gap in support. In this workshop, we will discuss our progress, the challenges people face in providing support to witnesses, and what you can practically do to help: fortified by a new booklet and website. We will:

  • Share experiences of the public, and professionals who are present at the suicide of someone they didn’t know
  • Practical guidance on engagement, challenges of providing support, and solutions using real time data. We’ll hear from people with lived experience
  • A discussion with an opportunity for questions from participants about implementing similar support and systems in their own work.

The session will also provide an opportunity to explore future directions within this field, such as integrating provision for witnesses as part of STP-commissioned postvention services; reaching witnesses more efficiently via real-time surveillance, and tackling self-stigma amongst professionals, to encourage active help-seeking.

Suicide prevention in young people: Research and peer support

NW Counselling Hub

A workshop to present new reserach from Australia and New Zealand around suicide prevention and intervention for young people. From a Winston Churchill Fellows research in 2019. Are we failing our young people as they navigate issues such as domestic abuse, racisim, suicide, self-harm and mental health. What can we do to create social change to make a difference and be an ally.

Alcohol dependency and suicide: lived experience perspectives on barriers to support and ‘what works’

We Are With You and partners in the Suicide Prevention Consortium

Presenting the findings of a survey of people with lived experience of self-harm and suicide alongside alcohol dependency, which seeks to understand the barriers to support that people experience, and what has been or would be helpful. Recommendations for policy and practice will be shared that are based on the trends and themes identified by the survey, and time for further discussion of the findings and recommendations. The Suicide Prevention  Consortium was established as part of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance programme of the Department of Health and Social Care and includes Samaritans, NSPA, SASP and We Are With You.

Compassionate, co-produced safety-planning: two examples of good practice

North East &North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network and 4 Mental Health

Safety Plans help people, and those supporting them to better manage distress. A Safety Plan includes evidence-based strategies: hope/reasons for living, promoting connectedness and support, help-seeking and practical ways to reduce access to means of suicide.

Safety planning is not a ‘one size fits all’. A more sophisticated personalised approach ensures the nature and quality of a Safety Plan matches the needs and preferences of the person in distress, and the capability/role of the person supporting them.

North East & North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network and Teesside University are working with people with lived experience, to develop a co-produced framework for safety planning. They are collaborating with 4 Mental Health, an internationally recognised organisation, to deliver cross-sector training to facilitate safety planning implementation by disseminating the Connecting with People training.

4 Mental Health co-produced the free StayingSafe.net website (supporting people to make ‘self-help’ Safety Plans).

This workshop will:

  • Explore real-world effective collaboration
  • Enhance understanding of safety planning
  • Equip delegates to make a Safety Plan using StayingSafe.net
  • Include Q&A

Afternoon workshops

Effective interventions for those who self-harm: a randomised control trial


In 2021 Harmless have undertaken a randomised control trial of self-harm support comparing two treatment options and being on a waiting list. The findings will demonstrate the levels of impact on recovery of the two treatment options vs waitlist cohort, and the implication of the findings are significant for short term interventions for people that self harm.

Expansion and implementation of Real-Time Surveillance across London to incorporate self-harm and attempted suicide data

Thrive LDN

This workshop will share how Thrive LDN established a Real-Time Surveillance System (RTSS) across London, including adherence to data protection legislation. The system facilitates data entry from police partners and engagement with Integrated Care System postvention services to enable proactive contact for postvention support. We will also explain how the system information is utilised to inform preventative interventions for community groups vulnerable to suicide. Thrive LDN will share progress in expanding the system to include self-harm and attempted suicide incidence, key partners for engagement, and the challenges faced. Time has been included for a discussion and Q&A to further support local implementation.

A joined up and proactive approach to the prevention and awareness of the mental health and wellbeing challenges faced by workers across the construction industry

Mates in Mind

To provide an overview of how Mates in Mind work, including: what do we mean by mental health?; how do we talk about mental health and suicide?; barriers to people talking about mental health; myth busting about mental health and suicide; spotting signs in others; and how to support yourself and others.

Local authority and multi-agency approaches to high risk locations

City of London

The City of London is the smallest local authority in England, with less than 9000 residents. 85% of suicide incidents in the City occur on bridges and the rest also occur in public places such as transport hubs and tall buildings. Suicidal presentations are usually non residents who have travelled in to use the City’s infrastructure which presents some interesting challenges. Following PHE’s key priority of reducing access to the means of suicide (in this case locations where there is extensive footfall from workers and tourists) is not easily done. This workshop will share learning (failure and successes) of the City’s work.

Preventing and responding to student suicide in Further Education and Higher Education settings

Professor Jo Smith, University of Worcester

The workshop will consider important risk factors contributing to student suicide risk and outline key elements in a successful whole institution suicide prevention strategy in terms of what you can do to both prevent student suicide, including postvention support for student peers, staff, and family members to prevent potential suicide contagion and clusters. The workshop will describe good practice case examples from FE and HE institutions around the UK and identify bespoke useful tools, training materials and resources designed for use with students and young people who may be expressing suicidal thoughts and behaviours.