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Towards Zero Suicide: News and updates from today's conference

Today's conference focuses on Suicide Prevention and moving towards Zero Suicide as the ambition. Through national updates, practical case studies and extended focus sessions the conference takes an in depth look at the effectiveness of suicide interventions, the importance of effective early intervention and crisis aversion, the experiences of zero suicide collaboratives and programmes, preventing male suicide, and an extended focus on delivering effective crisis services and emergency response.

David Covington Founding Member, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, USA and Co-Leader International Initiatives Zero Suicide and Crisis Now delivers an opening address focusing on International Declaration for Better Healthcare.  David's presentaion covers: 

• the Clinical Philosophy
• the Detroit Experience: A Central Focus in Healthcare
• the International Social Movement

Download David's full presentation here

In his presentation David stated: 

"Most of us think that suicide is a conscious choice but pain is not a choice"

"The normal ups and downs of being human gives us all an insight into emotional pain"

"Response to intense pain is physiological, not a choice"

"Not a choice, people don't have the resources or help to hang on"

"Instead of term 'committed' why not 'tragically succumbed to suicide'"

"Need to begin to change the narrative, people are struggling to believe that we understand their pain"

"Zero suicide is a big hairy audacious dream BUT cancer and HIV used to be in the same position, need people and resources to take it on"

"'target zero' happens all throughout healthcare with medication errors, infection, why not with suicide? It's because of antiquated views"

David's biography:

David Covington, LPC, MBA serves as CEO and President of RI International, is an owner of Behavioral Health Link and leads the international initiatives “Crisis Now” and “Zero Suicide.” He is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award, in 2008 with the Georgia Crisis & Access Line and again in 2012 with Magellan Health. For five consecutive years, he competed as a national finalist in innovations award competitions, including Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government in 2009, and was featured in Business Week magazine.

He is an acclaimed global speaker, with top-ranked TED-style Talks and conference keynotes. In 2015, readers of his healthcare innovation blog at represented 90 different countries. Previously he served as Vice-President at Magellan Health responsible for the administrative, clinical, financial and programmatic operations of the $750 million per year integrated health plan contract with Arizona Medicaid and the Department of Health Services.

Mr. Covington has served as a member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention since it was created in 2010, co-chairing task forces on clinical care and crisis services. He has served as vice-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline SAMHSA steering committee since it was created in 2005. He has served as the clinical division chair of the American Association of Suicidology since 2014. He served on the National Council for Behavioral Health board of directors from 2011 to 2014 and the Relias Learning Behavioral Health Advisory Board from 2014 to 2016.

Dr Adrian James Consultant Psychiatrist Devon Partnership NHS Foundation Trust & Chair of the Zero Suicide Collaborative delivers an extemded session looking at Reducing suicide through a zero suicide collaborative.  The presentation covers:

• reduce the risk of suicide in high risk groups and tailoring approaches to improve
 mental health specific groups;
• reduce access to means of suicide
• providing better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
• supporting research, data collection and monitoring
• our experience as a zero suicide collaborative

Download Dr James full presentation here

In his presentation Adrian stated: 

‘So what are the facts – They are very stark and they are important – every number is a person, and we have to think about the effect on those around them – family etc’

‘Suicide is the leading cause of death – bigger than cancer or heart disease’

‘We need to be ambitious for mental health’

‘As a psychiatrist, our ambition for people is to help people achieve the very best they can’

‘No Death by suicide is acceptable’

‘We need to learn from evidence to do things differently in order to reduce suicide’

‘If you apply more evidence, your suicide rate will drop’

‘Failure is not an option’

Dr James's biography:

Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist at Langdon Hospital, Dawlish Devon 1994- Registrar, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015- , leading on policy, communication and parliamentary , public  and member relations.

Currently leads the Zero Suicide Collaborative in South West England.  Presented on suicide prevention at the Annual Forum of the Institute for Health Improvement in Florida in December 2014.

Winner: National Patient Safety (HSJ/RCN): Patient Safety in Mental Health Award category 2016.


15 September 2016


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