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.
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).
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
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.
We were surprised to receive a letter from 10 Downing Street in March informing us that:-
“The Government appreciates the excellent work that the Suicide Crisis Centre does.”
The letter also advises us that “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.”
“We never set out to achieve zero suicide. We simply set out to do everything that we could for each individual to help them survive”.
Thank you very much to The Guardian for publishing this article about our Suicide Crisis Centre
Joy was invited to a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on suicide and self-harm in the House of Lords in December.
This month she has been invited to provide a further submission for the Health Select Committee inquiry into suicide prevention, following on from the oral evidence she gave in parliament last year about our Suicide Crisis Centre. This time she has been asked to comment on the Government’s updated strategy on suicide prevention.
Joy has also been invited by the Government’s adviser on suicide to meet with Health Select Committee Chair, Sarah Wollaston, in early February.
The BBC 6 o clock news featured the work of our charity on 29th November. A news crew filmed us as we went out to visit clients in their homes. As well as providing a Suicide Crisis Centre where clients come to see us, we also need to provide home visits, particularly when clients are at imminent risk of suicide.
The BBC news item focused on “Sarah”, and shows some of the many reasons why our service is needed. Our local crisis team is “closed” when we phone them on Sarah’s behalf. The A&E department at the general hospital says it is not an appropriate place for her. There are also no psychiatric beds available. The link to the online video on the BBC website is below:-
Joy was invited to give oral evidence to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee on the 8th November. They are undertaking an inquiry into the action needed to help prevent suicide. Joy was asked to speak to the Select Committee about our Suicide Crisis Centre and how it works.
The video of the Select Committee session is below and Joy’s evidence starts at around 15.26
The BBC’s social affairs editor, Michael Buchanan, came to interview Joy for a BBC breakfast TV news piece about the number of patients dying by suicide under the NHS crisis teams nationally. Joy spoke about her experiences under the crisis team in 2012 and explained that it was one of the reasons why she set up our service,to provide something very different. She was also interviewed about our Suicide Crisis Centre. The link to the news piece on the BBC website is below:-