`Zero suicide' approach to be debated at Belfast conference
A 'zero suicide' approach is among initiatives that will be debated at a conference dedicated to helping prevent people taking their own lives.
The 'What Works' conference, entitled `Stories Seldom Told, Voices Seldom Heard', comes as suicide rates are on the rise in Northern Ireland.
It is taking place at Belfast's Titanic Conference Centre and among the speakers is Liberal Democrat MP and former British health minister Norman Lamb, who lost his sister to suicide and has a son who suffers from mental health problems.
He advocates a `zero suicide' approach, starting in health care.
This is the belief that deaths by suicide are preventable at several stages before the final act and need a well-funded, better-coordinated strategy to reform attitudes and approaches in every sector of society - schools, hospitals, police stations and homes.
The slogan emerged from a Detroit hospital more than a decade ago and is now being incorporated into several NHS trusts in Britain.
The conference will also include researchers into suicide prevention and school principals who will discuss "compassionate and disciplined leadership towards college community resilience following student suicides".
Bereaved parents and family voices will also feature strongly.
The conference as a stand-alone event run by the Contact charity with a heavily subsidised £50 ticket price in order to "spread the learning about suicide prevention throughout the community and voluntary sector and beyond".
Tickets can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org.