Our work with the Ministry of Justice over legal aid/inquest reform

This month we were invited to attend a consultative group meeting at the Ministry of Justice focusing on legal aid reform. This was in relation to evidence which we provided from our research into deaths by suicide in Gloucestershire. We have been asked to provide further information since the meeting, and our full report “Research Into Deaths By Suicide In Gloucestershire” is being shared with colleagues at the Ministry Of Justice who are working on other aspects of reform within the inquest system / coroner’s court.

“More women than men are dying by suicide in psychiatric hospital, and after I was sectioned I know some of the reasons why”

This article written by our CEO in The Independent continues to be shared. She explains, from her own experience of having been sectioned, why women are at particular risk of suicide while detained in psychiatric hospital.

“A high proportion of these women may have experienced traumatic events involving physical assault or some other loss of power or control. That hospital staff understand this is a matter of life and death.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/women-suicide-psychiatric-hospitals-mental-health-prevention-symptoms-crisis-a8497091.html

Our CEO is a guest on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour programme

Joy, our CEO, and Katharine, CEO of Agenda, were guests on the BBC Radio 4 programme “Woman’s Hour” on 22nd August, talking about the new CQC figures which show that more women than men are dying by suicide while detained under the Mental Health Act. Joy spoke about the impact of sectioning on traumatised women and what might help reduce the risk of re-traumatisation when a person is under section.

She was also interviewed about our Suicide Crisis Centres and how our services differ from those of mental health services. She was asked to explain in particular how we work with people who have experienced trauma.

Her interview starts at around 11 or 12 minutes into the programme:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfx5dk

Her interview was also in the weekend edition of Woman’s Hour which features highlights from the previous week’s programmes.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfx639

24 Hours At A Suicide Crisis Centre: “The Independent” article

This article, published in The Independent this weekend, explains how we respond to emergencies during a 24 hour period at our Suicide Crisis Centre, at a time when a heatwave brings increased numbers of clients, and staff shortages within mental health services create an even greater need for our services:-

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/suicide-crisis-centre-mental-health-prevention-nhs-iapt-a8446011.html

Public Policy Exchange symposium

We will be speaking alongside Madeleine Moon MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on suicide and self-harm, at a Public Policy Exchange symposium in London on the 22nd May. The focus of the event is “strengthening the suicide prevention policy” and we will be looking particularly at effective strategies for reducing the risk of suicide in men. Please contact us for further details, particularly if you would like to attend.

Our CEO named in “most influential women” lists

Joy, the founder and CEO of Suicide Crisis, has been named as one of the “fifty greatest Gloucestershire women of all time” by our local newspapers in the county. Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, worked with our local newspapers to decide on the list.
She was also named as one of the “hundred most influential women in the West” by the Mirror group newspapers (Trinity Mirror).

“The Guardian” article about our Suicide Crisis Centre

Thank you to “The Guardian” for publishing a second article about our Suicide Crisis Centre. In this article, Joy (our CEO) looks at the power imbalance that exists between psychiatrist and patient within mental health services. She describes how her experience of feeling disempowered under that system impacted upon the way our Suicide Crisis Centre was set up. The article also emphasises that lived experience of mental illness should be seen as an advantage for professionals who work with people in crisis, not a disadvantage.

On social media, the most quoted line from the article is “It is entirely possible to be both a psychiatric patient and a competent professional”.

The link to the article is below:-

Reinventing Mental Health Care: Putting Patients In Charge

https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2017/sep/25/reinventing-mental-health-care-putting-psychiatric-patients-in-charge-suicide-crisis-centre

Our Oxford Conference: a focus on men and suicide

At our recent Oxford conference we talked about our work and how we have achieved zero suicide. There was a particular focus on men and suicide, and we are extremely grateful to our male clients who spoke at the event. It was hosted by an Oxford University college.

Although we didn’t ask for feedback, many people who attended emailed us afterwards and their comments included: ‘inspirational and moving seminar’ ‘simply amazing, thought-provoking, inspiring and moving in every way’ ‘bowled over by the heartfelt, courageous inspirational talks’ ‘important and insightful…. what a wonderful charity’ ‘sharing unique experiences with honesty, bravery and humour’, ‘the presentations…left a profound impact on me’

Huge thanks to St Edmund Hall (part of Oxford University) for making it possible. Thanks to BBC News South for covering the event.

Letter From 10 Downing Street: The Government Gives Its Opinion On Our Work

We have received a letter from 10 Downing Street which states: “The Government appreciates the excellent work that the Suicide Crisis Centre does.” “The Department of Health is always keen to learn from best practice and often uses this to help develop national policy. Information about your important work has been received with interest.”