Community Prevention and ‘Lived Experience’ in Focus for Annual National Suicide Prevention Conference
World renowned thought leaders, academics, clinicians, community and public health workers in suicide prevention are coming together in Melbourne to collectively develop a better understanding of suicide, and explore the efforts underway to bring Australia closer to ‘zero suicide’. The National Suicide Prevention Conference 2019 is the largest Australian gathering focused solely on suicide prevention.
Former Prime Minister, Hon. Julia Gillard AC will deliver the Diego de Leo Opening Address – made in honour of the significant contribution made by Professor Diego De Leo to suicide prevention in Australia and internationally.
“Ms Gillard generously shares her journey to better understand the interaction between a person’s economic, social and cultural circumstances and their ability to navigate life’s challenges. This unique, profound perspective has inspired her personal commitment to mental health and specifically, suicide prevention in Australia. We are thrilled to have her join us,” said Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray.
“Applying the value of ‘Lived experience’ expertise of suicide is at the heart of what’s planned for this conference, and fits perfectly with this year’s theme ‘United In Action’. We hope that throughout the coming days those leading life-saving suicide prevention across the country are always united with those people, families and communities that have felt the impact of suicide, and together we can look forward with hope for change.”
A powerhouse conference programme features plenary sessions with keynote speakers Eduardo Vega (USA), CEO & Founder of Humannovations, international thought leader in transformative mental health programs, suicide prevention, human rights, and lived experience/peer-led services and research; Dr Alys Cole-King (UK), Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist/Clinical Director 4 Mental Health Ltd, winner of the 2017 Ringel Service Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and; Dr Ilan H. Meyer (USA), expert in minority public health issues, the intersection of social stressors and mental disorders in LGBTI communities. Australia’s own Dr David Webb will also be on-hand to offer insights into his work, which famously informed “the world’s first PhD on suicide by someone who has attempted it”.
The programme features a deliberate showcase of diversity in perspective and approach across the presentations planned from local and international speakers. Specific research into and prevention programmes trialled amongst minority communities (such as indigenous and LGBTI groups) are set for detailed discussion. Perspectives from ‘lived experience’ of suicide will also prominently feature.
Learnings from The National Suicide Prevention Trial, now into its third year, is set to spark lively discussion and review. This ground breaking programme closely monitors unique prevention strategies in twelve selected community ‘sites’ around the country, and will bring new insight to the imminent establishment of a national strategy National Suicide Prevention Policy.
Keynote speakers, include
- Eduardo Vega (USA), CEO & Founder of Humannovations, international thought leader in transformative mental health programs, suicide prevention, human rights, and lived experience/peer-led services and research.
- Dr Alys Cole-King (UK), Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist/Clinical Director 4 Mental Health Ltd, winner of the 2017 Ringel Service Award from the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
- Dr Ilan H. Meyer (USA), expert in minority public health issues, the intersection of social stressors and mental disorders in LGBTI communities.
- Dr David Webb (Australia) academic, speaker and activist and author of what’s described as “the world’s first PhD on suicide by someone who has attempted it”.
- Also Aussie television and radio personality Gus Worland, will bring together speakers on the final day of the conference for a meaningful Q&A panel.
Community action and compassion will be spotlighted during the prestigious LiFE Awards completing the first day of the conference. The awards, recognising excellence in suicide prevention attract nominations from all over Australia from sectors including business, industry, media, community, government, youth, research and medical. Six LiFE Awards will be presented showcasing the exciting, innovative and diverse range of initiatives in suicide prevention.