World Suicide Prevention Day

Since 2011, Grassroots Suicide Prevention has held an event in Brighton & Hove each year to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. WSPD is a world-wide event led by the International Association of Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation where people around the globe join together with the common goal of preventing suicide. Efforts to prevent suicide have been celebrated on September 10th each year since 2003.

Previous Grassroots events for WSPD

World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

This year the theme for World Suicide Prevention Day was “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” We all have a role to play and together we can collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behaviour in society. On September 10th, we joined with people in Brighton & Hove and many others across the world who play their part in the prevention of suicide. Grassroots undertook the following activities to mark the day:

  • An evening ‘Real Talk’ workshop in Brighton. This was an awareness raising session, followed by a screening of a short film about Grassroots’ volunteer Change Makers.
  • An information stall at the entrance to Jubilee Library starting conversations about suicide prevention work in the city, and encouraging engagement through a variety of means, such as, downloading the app, attending training, and taking the ‘Tell Me’ pledge.
  • An information stall at the entrance to Brighton Station with a similar focus to the library stall, as above.
  • A week long photography exhibition at Brighton Station using the long wall along the wooden walkway at the back entrance. Following the theme of ‘Working Together’ this included portraits of local people who care about suicide in the community, and are taking action to prevent it.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

This year, the theme was ‘Take a minute, change a life’. We decided to engage the public through quick, fun minute challenges such as table tennis and circus skills, Grassroots got people talking about suicide prevention and helped them understand what they can do to help. This included various calls to action for the public, including:

The Grassroots team held an open event at the Unitarian Church, Brighton on the afternoon of Friday 8 September with support from local partners, including, Mankind, Pavilions, Samaritans, Brighton & Hove Alibion, and Pharmacie Coffee. The afternoon involved fun one-minute challenges to engage the public hosted by Brighton Table Tennis Club, a chance to take a framed selfie photo in support of suicide prevention, and an opportunity to learn how to help change a life through open talk about suicide.

A man stands outside a church with a microphone. Various people pose inside a frame mimicking facebook.

Grassroots also had a presence at Brighton Station during the week, working with local street artist Madderdoit? to paint a mural on a prominent electricity box at the rear of the Station promoting the ‘StayAlive’ app, and raising awareness with commuters through an information stall.

Funding for this awareness raising work and training came through a grant from Brighton & Hove City Council's Public Health team.

Grassroots Chief Executive Stella Comber said:

“Suicide rates in Brighton and Hove are among the highest in the UK and today is an opportunity for us to highlight this urgent issue. Each suicide is an individual tragedy and has a devastating impact on family, colleagues, friends and the wider community. Grassroots believe that many suicides can be prevented. Our aim is to build the confidence of the public to ensure that they are alert to the risk of suicide and have the confidence to ask direct questions and support a person at risk. We want to send this message out into the heart of the community so that people feel empowered to help others and to start conversations that quite literally save lives. You don’t have to be an expert - in the time it takes you to order a coffee it really could be possible to change the course of another person’s life. World Suicide Prevention Day is a unique opportunity for members of the public to come down to the Unitarian Church and find out more about how we can work together to make Brighton and Hove a suicide safer community.”

World Suicide Prevention Day 2016

The theme for this year was "Connect, Communicate & Care". Our events included:

  • A stall at Brighton Station.
  • A community safeTALK training 16 participants.
  • A resource marketplace, including representitives from Rethink Survivors of Suicide, MindOut, and Samaritans.
  • A main event including news about our award-winning Stay Alive suicide prevention app. There were also opportunites to hear from other influencial guest speakers and find out what is going on in the city and surrounding areas.
  • A two-minute's silence to remember those we have loved and lost to suicide.
  • Grassroots Suicide Prevention gratefully acknowledge funding from Public Health Brighton & Hove City Council who have enabled us to organise these events.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Events included:

  • A stall at Brighton Station.
  • A community safeTALK training 21 participants.
  • A community event on the theme of Reaching Out and Saving Lives, with speakers from Brighton & Hove Bus Company, the High Sheriff of East Sussex, an author addressing suicide bereavement and a panel discussion addressing suicide prevention and engaging with the audience.
  • A Bike Train in Brighton, where 12 cyclists rode through the centre to raise awareness of suicide prevention. A stall was held before and after the event. Images can be found here.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2014

Events included:

  • Two free safeTALK suicide prevention courses for 62 community members (sponsored by One Cent Call and local fundraisers).
  • The launch of StayAlive, the UK's first suicide prevention mobile phone app, attended by 66 people.
  • The launch of the UK's first suicide prevention tool for people with learning disabilities.
  • Workshops by Grassroots and Samaritans, attended by 43 community members.
  • Talks by Grassroots Directors Chris Brown and Miranda Frost, plus Giles York (Chief Constable Sussex Police and Force lead for Diversity), Rachel Watters (Project Management Assistant, Suicide Prevention, Network Rail) and Lisa Rodrigues (former CEO of Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust and new Grassroots Trustee).
  • A minute's silence to remember those we have loved and lost to suicide

The venue and catering was provided by The Brighthelm Centre. The theme this year was "Suicide Prevention: One World Connected."

World Suicide Prevention Day 2013

This event took place at BHASVIC Sixth Form College, Hove and was attended by 140 people. Highlights included:

  • Skype presentation of an international Award of Excellence to Grassroots made by Kathryn Von Boskirk, Vice President of LivingWorks Education.
  • Right Here
    Right Here project
  • A performance from Right Here, a local project led by young people.
  • A personal story from local artist Yvonne J Foster of how a suicide prevention intervention touched her life.
  • A screening of Grassroots' new film "Something in the Silence".
  • A speech from James Moncrieff, Deputy Principle of BHASVIC Sixth Form College.
  • A speech by Cllr Anne Meadows, Brighton & Hove's Deputy Mayor.
  • A speech from Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health Brighton & Hove.
  • An update from Grassroots on the first year of our Suicide Safer Brighton & Hove project
  • A spoken word piece from Erica
  • A minute's silence to remember those we have loved and lost to suicide

We also hosted a stall at the Kissing Statue plus a free, outdoor photographic exhibition featuring beautiful portraits with a clear stigma reduction message in Jubilee Square, outside Brighton Library.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2012

Held at The Latest Music Bar in Brighton, 125 people gathered on 10 September 2012 to mark this day. The event included:

  • A live skype interview with activist and performance artist Kate Bornstein about mental health and suicide prevention.
  • Sinead O'Connor
    Sinead O'Connor
  • A live skype interview with singer/songwriter Sinead O'Connor about mental health and suicide prevention.
  • A live skype interview with Roy Henry Vickers, a First Nations artist and spiritual leader.
  • A speech by Kevin Betts about his personal experience of his father's suicide.
  • A message from the President of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP).
  • The launch of our Suicide Safer Brighton & Hove project.
  • A minute's silence to remember those we have loved and lost to suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2011

Our first World Suicide Prevention Day event was held upstairs at The Rock Inn, Brighton and was attended by about 40 people. Events included:

  • A lit candle
  • A video message from Caroline Lucas.
  • A live skype performance by Susan Aglukark, a First Nations artist from Canada, and Friends of Emmett, a rock band supporting suicide prevention.
  • A Skype link-up with Canada's Collateral Damage project, and screening of their photo portraits of suicide survivors.
  • The launch of our first video "I Am Alive".
  • Speeches from Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health Brighton & Hove, Helen Jones of MindOut, and an ASIST participant.
  • A talk about the so-called 'suicide song', Gloomy Sunday, by Angi Mariani.
  • A minute's silence to remember those we have loved and lost to suicide

Video from this event can be found here:

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Stay Alive

A mobile app for those at risk of suicide and people worried about someone.

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Patient Safety Awards Winner, 2015
2019 Winner GSK IMPACT Awards In partnership with The King's Fund
National Suicide Prevention Alliance Member

Thank you to all our clients and funders, including

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Department of Health
  • Crisis Care Concordat
  • Intrum
  • 2019 Winner GSK Impact Award in partnership with The King's Fund
  • The Allen Lane Foundation
  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • East Sussex County Council
  • West Sussex County Council
  • Ealing
  • Surrey County Council
  • YMCA
  • Royal Navy
  • Public Health England