Our Annual Members Meeting took place on 2nd May at NCVO, London. NSPA members and supporters came together to hear about the work of the NSPA over the last year, to discuss issues such as the impact of Brexit on suicide prevention and what our priorities should be for the next few years, to learn more about each other’s’ work, and to network. A wide range of members attended with representatives from the private, voluntary and public sectors, as well as individual supporters.
We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the event, with participants valuing the opportunity to share ideas, challenges and hopes in such a diverse group who all care so much about suicide prevention and bereavement support. Thank you to those members and supporters who came along and made it such a great day.
Below is information on each of the presentations from the day, please click on the title to view the slide sets.
Penny Fosten, NSPA Executive Lead, updated members on some of our work in 2017-18, including new resources for local suicide prevention work, our national conference, World Suicide Prevention Day activities, and government engagement and influencing. She also welcomed the 37% increase in membership in the last year, and how much it strengthens our collective voice. Penny outlined plans for the coming year, including significant improvements to the resources available on our website, enhancing connections and communication with and between members, and continuing to represent and advocate for our members nationally.
Glyn Evans talked about the potential impact of Brexit in the farming community. Farming is an inherently risky and volatile industry to work in and Brexit means more uncertainty. The FCN are encouraging farmers to build resilience to change and to prepare for the effects of change on business and personal lives, and continuing to provide them with support and advice.
Highways England’s Suicide Prevention Strategy (slides not available publicly)
Nicola Tweedie from Highways England (who are responsible for operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads) shared their suicide prevention strategy, which includes prioritising high-risk locations and training and supporting their staff to have the skills and confidence to identify and talk to a suicidal person.
Ged Flynn presented PAPYRUS’ current campaign ‘The class of 2018’ (you can view the campaign films in the slide sets). Over 200 children are lost to suicide every year in the UK, and suicide is the leading cause of death in young people. Papyrus are committed to building safer schools and colleges, and have developed resources for schools, you can download these here.
Dr Sharon McDonnell talked about this survey, which is supported by the Support After Suicide Partnership and the University of Manchester. It aims to help our understanding of the impact a death by suicide may have on the lives of those who are bereaved or affected by the death, to establish the support people bereaved or affected by suicide received, how the support was helpful, and identify where support is lacking.
Over 4000 people have already completed the survey. If you would like to take part you can do so here.
Naomi Watkins presented their work in domestic abuse. One incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every 30 seconds and every day almost 30 women attempt suicide as a result of experiencing domestic abuse. NW Counselling hub works with survivors of domestic abuse, they provide counselling, encourage help seeking and assist survivors with vital safety plans.
Dr Alexandra Pitman, Senior Clinical Lecturer, UCL Division of Psychiatry, provided an overview of some recent research in suicide prevention and high-risk groups, including construction workers, LGBT youth, people with access to lethal means and people bereaved by suicide.