New Co-Chairs elected to the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA)

An alliance of more than 50 organisations who work together to reduce suicide in the UK has elected two Co-Chairs.

The National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) formed in 2013, re-elected Hamish Elvidge of The Matthew Elvidge Trust and elected Brian Dow of Rethink Mental Illness on 25 June.

Hamish and Brian join Joe Ferns, Executive Director of Policy, Research and Development at Samaritans’ who holds the third Co-Chair role and hosts the NSPA Secretariat.

As well as working to reduce suicide, the NSPA improves support for people bereaved or affected by suicide. The alliance is currently working on its new strategy.

Hamish Elvidge, who has been involved in the NSPA from the outset is also chair of the Hamish Elvidge Trust which was formed after his son Matthew took his own life. “We now have the foundation to make a real difference in this challenging field at a time when the number of suicides and those impacted is increasing,” Hamish said.  “There is no more important time to work with the Department of Health, Public Health England and others to support people when they need it most.”

Brian Dow, Director of External Affairs at Rethink Mental illness, said: “I am hugely committed to playing my part in improving support for people with mental illness and believe that we ought to aspire to prevent all suicides.”

The Co-Chairs lead a Steering Group of twelve with overall responsibility for the NSPA. In May, Keith Waters (East Midlands Suicide Prevention Research Network), Miranda Frost (Grassroots Suicide Prevention), Caroline Harroe (Harmless & The Tomorrow Project) and Karen Ellis (Farming Community Network) were elected to the group, joining the Department of Health, Network Rail, PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, Royal College of Psychiatrists and BACP*.

For more information please call Sue Royal on 0208 394 8348 or email s.royal@samaritans.org.

*BACP: British Association for Counselling and Therapy

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