The One Team Government World Suicide Prevention Day Conference 2020
September 24, 2020
On September 10th 2020, a quite remarkable event took place on World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 and The Jordan Legacy’s founder, Steve Phillip, played a key role.
The OneTeamGov network – a team of transformation managers in Government in the UK (and some in other countries) chose to invest in suicide prevention this year, especially concerned about the suicide risks from COVID19, and what can be done to avoid the COVID19 Crisis becoming a Suicide Crisis.
It was decided to have an event with a series of ‘short showcases’ to raise awareness and stimulate action. With ambitions to hopefully attract around 200 registered delegates. When numbers began to exceed 300, there was a sense that something special was taking place. On the day of the conference, registrations had surpassed all expectations, with more than 900 delegates booked to attend!
Speakers included top level members of Samaritans, the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) and the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA), along with the UK Chief Inspector of Railways, who recently committed his Department to donating 1 million volunteer hours to Samaritans.
It was agreed to have half of the Speakers with Lived Experience. 7 of the 14 Speakers were booked to ‘tell their stories’ of suicide loss and what they’ve done to try and prevent others having to experience the pain of suicide loss.
Communications lead for OneTeamGov, Sam Villis. explains in this blog post, why this event was created. You’ll also be able to see the full agenda on that day.
Given the challenging nature of the subject matter, it was a emotionally charged afternoon. A decision had already been made though to create a ‘safe space’ for the speakers and support was also on hand, including 100 Mental Health First Aiders, partnering for the event.
As the conference got underway, it suddenly became clear that other speakers – not billed as ‘Lived Experience’ -were opening up about how their lives had been impacted directly by suicide. For some, this was the first time they had shared their story publicly.
The video below is a recording of the 3-hour conference, which you can either watch in its entirety or scroll the timeline bar to move forward to specific speakers of interest.
Videos of individual speakers can be also searched for on YouTube, on an easy-to-access playlist.
The two most ‘popular’ (in terms of feedback from those who attended – heart wrenching tragedies turned into inspiring practical actions full of hope) were Steve’s own story about Jordan (see below)
and Debbie Rogers, who lost her brother Sean to suicide in July 2019. Debbie created Sean’s Place in Liverpool – a wonderful environment, where men can come together and get involved in a range of inclusive activities and talk about the challenges they’re experiencing with their mental health. Steve and Debbie are in regular contact and Steve is planning to visit Sean’s Place later in 2020 to learn how some of what Sean’s Place is achieving could be applied to creating The Jordan Legacy’s Retreat.
Debbie’s talk is totally inspiring and a must watch below.
It’s About Taking Action
Although the conference itself was hugely successful, it’s really about what happens afterwards and The Jordan Legacy’s partner, Paul Vittles has put together this excellent Resources Pack, which includes information on the following topics:
General reading and resources
Crisis services and practical support
Suicide prevention organisations
Diversity and inclusion organisations and initiatives
Practical resources, training and sharable video
Suicide bereavement services
Workplace mental health
Resources for those outside of the UK
Our speakers as ‘resources’!
Do you want to help us make a difference? At The Jordan Legacy we understand that suicide is a practical act, therefore, suicide prevention requires practical actions.
The conference is now a memory and in Jordan’s memory, we need to rally around a call to action and what better way to do that by sharing this ‘call-to-action’ article by Paul Vittles, which explains about the global ‘Zero Suicide Community’ and the work being done to hopefully ensure that suicide becomes a rare event in our lives and that more of those we love continue to live long and fulfilling lives.
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