The 23rd June 2017 saw over 100 people gather in Cheltenham at the 10th SOBS/2Gether NHS Trust event - and this year the Zero Suicide Collaborative had been kindly invited to join. The day was chaired by Adrian James, who as many of you know, was the first Chair of the Zero Suicide Collaborative (he pulled together meetings to discuss the ideas during 2013, with the launch of the Collaborative to over 200 people from across the region taking place in October 2014. The rest, as we say, is history!)
A special thank you is due to Trish Thomas, who has been the driving force behind these conferences. This event was a cause for celebration, as this was the 10th year! Many thanks to Trish for her incredible persistence and determination, which has seen so many positive changes take place, and so many people helped. Well done Trish.
Along with Gordon Benson from 2Gether Trust, Trish had worked hard to pull together an excellent programme, with input from a range of inspirational speakers:
- Clive Corbett, Headteacher of Pershore High School, spoke movingly of the death of a young student, and his determination to do whatever he can to prevent further tragedies.
- Krystyna Hebb talked honestly about the complexity of gender issues in children, helping us to understand some of the challenges for these children and their parents and teachers.
- Jeremy and Anne Davies told us about their experiences in setting up CIREN, a new self help project.
- Carole Hedges and Mandy Leonard from Swindon MIND told us of the value of the Wellbeing House in Swindon, and the encouraging development of the Alexandra Wellbeing House in Gloucestershire.
- Corinne, Gordon and Sue facilitated a discussion about the MINDFUL EMPLOYER scheme, and the importance of helping employers to support staff through any mental health challenges.
- Dr Jo Black - Perinatal Consultant Psychiatrist gave us a fascinating insight into the support available for women with mental health concerns both before and after birth, and the increased services soon to be developed in Gloucestershire.
- Adrian, Corinne and Sue were able to finish the day by spreading the word about the South West Zero Suicide Collaborative.
Many thanks to all contributors for a truly inspiring day. We look forward to next year's conference!