About us Our projects Families Voices Forum Community workshops and conferences Community workshops and conferences Community Workshops Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, community events are currently postponed. However, if you have ideas for what you would like to see in your community, let us know. We are always guided by our members’ views on what’s needed in their area and we value members’ advice on venues, food, travel and accommodation. Conferences Forum members are offered the opportunity to attend a variety of conferences about suicide, with tickets and expenses paid for. We only ask that if you attend on our behalf, you share a little bit of feedback about your experience and learning whilst there. Members also attend local and regional community well-being events, as organisers, participants, information stall holders or as guest speakers – it’s up to you how you get involved! Forthcoming conferences We keep in close contact with Dr Sharon McDonnell at the University of Manchester. Sharon has been bereaved by suicide and set up SOBS: a leading national service to support families bereaved by suicide She also heads up the world’s largest research project involving families bereaved by suicide during 2019-20 to help influence positive change in support offered to those affected by this loss. Sharon organises the following annual conference, which members have attended in the past. Here are the details for 2020: Suicide Bereavement UK Conference: Using our collective voice 18-19 November 2020: Suicide Bereavement UK's ninth annual conference bringing together 17 speakers and six workshops over two days in Manchester. Read more Learnings from previous conferences International Association for Suicide Prevention This worldwide conference, held in Derry/Londonderry last year, had speakers from across the globe sharing research, information and ideas on how they are addressing suicide in their country. Seven forum members attended this week long event where they heard: The latest information about suicide in high risk groups New ways of delivering services in communities How technology can be used to identify and support those experiencing suicidal ideation Inspirational new projects that are happening and the challenges being faced by different countries in reducing their suicide rates We then had the opportunity to feedback to the Protect Life Groups about our experience there and what we thought may be useful in our areas for the future. Two key messages came out of this for forum members: Working collaboratively with people who have lived experience is key to making changes successful We all enjoyed the ‘down time’ together, where we could spend time laughing and enjoying ourselves as a group of people with a common interest. See the lived experience panel discussion: Towards Zero Suicide Regional Launch Families Voices Forum members attended the launch of the Towards Zero Suicide (TZS) work stream and presented a talk about Improving Families' Experiences of Adult Mental Health Services. TZS derived from the recognition of suicides being preventable, something that was not always traditionally believed. If suicide is seen as preventable, then there are things we can do that enable hospitals and other controlled settings to significantly reduce deaths by suicide. One thing we remain mindful of is the response of families to this change in culture. Seeing suicide as recognisable and preventable can cause harm to some family members who may continue to feel guilt and blame for not recognising signs or who often report no signs of suicidal ideas being present prior to the death of their loved one. It will take careful discussions to enable everyone to accept and understand the goal, which is ultimately to bring hope where currently hopelessness exists, saving lives in the process. See Families Voices Forum's presentation on Improving Families' Experiences of Adult Mental Health Services Zero Suicide Alliance Third National Conference Members flew to London to take part in this conference which focused upon 3 aspects of innovation and change in order to better support a reduction in suicide rates: The Digital zone: Digital resources to support suicide prevention - a digital space demonstrating different resources to support a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy The Best Practice zone: Community based opportunities for targeted communities at risk - demonstrating innovative and interesting opportunities for community asset-based development informed by the picture of local needs through the leaders resource. The Culture zone: Culture change tools - demonstrating the tools to achieve cultural changes required for rapid system change in suicide prevention.