Some of the Harmless and Tomorrow Project team attended the Towards Zero Suicide conference in Birmingham yesterday. We have heard from a huge range of speakers from so many different backgrounds, including Dr Rebecca Martinez, a consultant psychiatrist in the NHS, Philipa Smith from the British Transport Police, and Clare Dickens with Stuart Guy from Connecting with People.
This mornings speakers have encouraged delegates to think critically about how we discuss and define suicide – as you can imagine, to understand suicide we must be able to speak about it on the same level, regardless of our relationship to suicide whether experienced professionally or personally.
What’s become clear from the wide range of speakers is that the topic of suicide permeates across all professions both here in the U.K. and internationally. With this is mind, I feel that conferences and events like this are essential not only to inform people of the current thinking around it, but it brings delegates from all different backgrounds with so much different experience together to try and make those connections between the personal, professional and academic. Arguably, to fully tackle the issues of suicide and self harm, these three disciplines must work in alignment rather than in opposition.
With that said, the conference has really excited me for the national self-harm conference Harmless is holding on the 1st of March – this coming Wednesday! We do have some places remaining for the day, with an incredible wealth of speakers coming and workshops being held. We hope to see you there!