Yesterday, Thursday 10th September on World Suicide Prevention Day, we attended the OneTeamGov Suicide Prevention conference; an insightful and certainly an inspiring look into the field of suicide prevention and how broad a topic it is. We heard from a range of speakers, many of which spoke courageously about their own lived experience bereaving a loved one.
The various talks throughout the afternoon covered multiple different approaches and perspectives, including discussions on how the global pandemic has had an impact, the way in which augmented intelligence can calculate the likelihood of outcomes, and how grief can be channelled to positively change how suicide prevention looks. For example, the Molly Rose Foundation campaigning to implement stricter regulations of harmful content shared on social media, and The Jordan Legacy committing to improve people’s mental wellbeing with an aim to reduce the frequency of suicides and limit the number of families who experience life-altering tragedies.
QES were also invited to speak on the topic of real-time surveillance, and the impact it has on suicide prevention and postvention activity. Emma gave listeners an insight into the story behind our Suicide Surveillance system, how we developed it in partnership with Thrive LDN, and the further development with the South Yorkshire region. See more about the system at www.qes-online.co.uk/suicide-surveillance to understand why real-time data can make an extraordinary impact.
At the beginning of the event, attendees were encouraged to consider how they could personally take action, even if just something small, to improve people’s wellbeing or potentially save a life. HM Chief Inspector of Railways, Ian Prosser, reminded us of the very simple three words ‘how are you?’, going on to explain how actively listening to that response is far more important than just uttering the words. Steve Mallen of Zero Suicide Alliance referred to the invaluable, free, online suicide prevention training they designed which teaches the skills needed to start what could be a life-saving conversation. It was clear to see that a lot of people doing a little has the potential to make an incredible difference. So, we’ll pose the same question to you. What action can you take?