To access presentations and recordings from the National Suicide Prevention Conference 2019, please click here and enter the password NSPC_2019.

Pre-Conference Workshops, Monday 20 July 2020

Pre-conference workshops are all held at the National Convention Centre Canberra, and include morning or afternoon tea, and lunch (if attending both a morning and afternoon workshop). These workshops will run concurrently.

Registration for workshops is essential because places are limited.

These workshops offer a unique opportunity to learn from international and local experts in suicide prevention and they sell out fast!

More information on pre-conference workshops coming soon. Sign up here to receive regular conference updates.


The five program streams for the National Suicide Prevention Conference 2020 are policy, research, programs and services, innovation and priority populations.

These streams aim to inform, educate and provide the opportunity to engage in vibrant discussion.

This conference enables all to share our work and our thoughts with the goal of speaking with one voice on common goals to meet our mission of reducing suicide in Australia.

The conference will include plenary sessions and keynote addresses showcasing innovative ideas, outstanding Australian and global projects and existing and future research and policy directions.

An overview of the five streams:

Policy – Providing the opportunity to participate in the drive for effective policy to prevent suicide with a whole of government approach. This stream will enable input from a wide array of stakeholders including senior policy makers at all levels of Government.

Research – Showcasing the current and emerging innovative evidence base in suicide prevention research

Programs and Services – Sharing in the breadth and depth of quality suicide prevention programs and services across Australia and internationally to inform and enhance service provision in our sector.

Innovation – Focusing on innovative approaches in suicide prevention and exploring risk and protective factors including areas such as relationship breakdown, housing and financial stress and unemployment, public health infrastructure, access to more effective services and social connectedness.

Priority Populations – Identifying existing and emerging priority populations and innovative approaches to suicide prevention for these vulnerable groups.

Recognising the importance of the voice of lived experience, the program will have strong representation from people with a lived experience of suicide. We will be encouraging all speakers to ensure that the lived experience voice is included in their presentations.

The Reflection Ceremony, Thursday 23 July 2020

The Reflection Ceremony is a supportive opportunity to consider all aspects of our lives – past and present – surrounded by others who also have a lived experience of suicide.

Morning tea is included and will be served after the Reflection Ceremony.

Note: There is no charge to attend the Reflection Ceremony. Community members are invited to attend this session and registration is required.


Each of the international speakers will be complemented by local experts commenting on Australian context.

Yutaka Motohashi

Yutaka Motohashi

Director, Japan Support Center for Suicide Countermeasures
The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan

Yutaka Motohashi is a leading person in the area of suicide prevention policy in Japan, disseminating importance of policy-making at community level. Yutaka is a Director of Japan Support Center for Suicide Countermeasures, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan since 2016. Yutaka obtained PhD at Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1984 and Scholarships from the French government to study at CNRS and The University Paris V. Yutaka was a professor at the Department of Public Health of Akita University Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine from 1996 to 2014 when he achieved reduction of suicide rate in Akita prefecture. Yutaka was a Dean of Akita University School of Medicine in 2007 and Trustee/Vice President in 2012. As a public position, Yutaka was a special adviser to Cabinet Office of Suicide Prevention Policy (2009-10) and a Chairman of Investigative committee for the revision of The General Principle of Suicide Prevention Policy (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) (2016-17).

Dr Joseph Rafferty

Dr Joseph Rafferty

CEO, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Joe Rafferty was appointed CEO of Mersey Care NHS Trust in September 2012. During his tenure, he has led a significant expansion of the organisation, almost trebling it in size. This has been accompanied by significant modernisation of the estate and digital infrastructure. The trust is now one of the largest specialised integrated care providers in the NHS and includes inpatient and community mental health, community physical health, and learning disability and addictions services.

At Mersey Care, he has organised the organisation around the idea of Pursuing Perfect Care using a series of audacious zero based goals such as zero suicides in care, zero restrictive practice, zero pressure ulcers and zero medication errors. Most notably, the trust has become internationally recognised for its work on restorative just practice to support learning in its pursuit of perfect care.

Awarded a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at Queen’s University Belfast in 1987, he spent the next 12 years researching drug resistance in cancer and published over 50 peer review articles on this and related areas, before a career change. Before joining the trust, he held a series of senior NHS leadership roles as regional director (NHSNW) of strategy and commissioning and CEO of a PCT where he developed an interest in safety and quality improvement including establishing the influential Advancing Quality programme.

For the past 5 years, he has been named one of the top 50 NHS CEOs by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) and has appeared in the HSJ100 most influential people in healthcare in the UK. He is a founder member of the Zero Suicide Alliance UK and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours List 2020 for his work on suicide prevention.

Social Program

Networking Function

Date: Tuesday 21 July 2020
Time: 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Venue: Exhibition Space, National Convention Centre Canberra
Cost: Included in Full Registration
Additional Tickets: $70 per person

This function will provide the perfect opportunity for delegates to catch up with colleagues, renew past connections and make new contacts in a relaxed atmosphere.

Conference Dinner & LiFE Awards

Date: Wednesday 22 July 2020
Time: 6.30pm for 7.00pm start
Venue: Ballroom, National Convention Centre Canberra
Cost: Included in Full Registration
Additional Tickets: $135 per person

This evening is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with other conference delegates, while being entertained, wined and dined – a night not to be missed!

The LiFE Awards is a prestigious national event attracts diverse nominations with an interest in suicide prevention across Australia. Nominations include business, industry, media, community, government, youth, research and medicine. The 2020 LiFE Awards Recipients will be announced.