Start A Conversation Conference

Posted: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 09:00

Start A Conversation Conference

The Start A Conversation team, and the campaigns key partners, hosted the first Start A Conversation conference at the King Power Stadium on World Suicide Prevention day 2019 in celebration of the campaign's success over the past year since its launch.

The conference had a broad theme of suicide awareness and prevention, with keynote speeches from:

  • County Councillor and Health Lead Member Lee Breckon
  • Deputy Leicester City Mayor Piara Singh Claire CC MBE
  • Public Health, Leicestershire County Council (LCC)
  • Leicestershire Police
  • Samaritans
  • Turning Point
  • Leicestershire Partnership Trust
  • Rural Community Council
  • Two individuals of lived experience

Highlights of the conference were of two brave individuals who shared their story amongst more than 140 stakeholders and professionals from mental health and suicide – they spoke of the difficulties they have faced in their own personal battles with suicide, and of dealing with the bereavement of loved ones. Their powerful messages resonated with all in attendance and reaffirmed the reasons why we must all continue to act to reduce suicide in our communities.

Also, in attendance were BBC East Midlands Today reporting on the conference and campaign, with interviews featuring Lee Breckon CC and Harry Hogarth from Turning Point. Lee Breckon confirmed Leicestershire County Councils commitment to building a community that is committed to the wellbeing of its residents and a non-judging environment where care and support is available to those in distress, bereaved or affected by suicide.

Mike Sandys', Director of Public Health LCC, closed the conference with an announcement that there will be a new specialist Suicide Bereavement Service for residents in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to provide much needed specialist support to those who have been affected or bereaved by suicide. The service is expected to go live in October 2019 – more news to follow.

The conference was a huge success in celebrating the first anniversary of the Start A Conversation campaign and the number in attendance epitomises Public Health's, key partners and stakeholder's commitment to continually improve practice to reduce suicide in our community.

We are looking forward to the next conference with hopes in reporting of the success of the Specialist Suicide Bereavement Service coming soon.

Conference presentations

If you would like to view the material that was presented at the Start A Conversation conference, please download from the links below:

Tags: News