Jami, together with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and Liz Twist MP, chair of the Suicide and Self Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group, arranged for a roundtable focused on suicide prevention to take place at Jami’s Head Room café in Golders Green.
“We Are Saving Lives Everyday” was an event designed to bring together voluntary, charity and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations who work on suicide prevention to discuss how they are an effective part of the community pathway in enabling people with suicidal thoughts and behaviours to turn away from suicide. It also sought to connect the sector with policy makers in Westminster and beyond.
Phillipa Carr, Jami’s education manager and suicide prevention lead, co-chaired the discussion with
Liz Twist MP. She explained to attendees that within a community such as the Jewish community, any suicide death can have a significant “ripple effect” in terms of other people’s mental health being impacted by the loss, and people with existing thoughts of suicide being triggered by the news.
The morning’s events included presentations by Jami and Public Health Barnet, a discussion of the role of VCSE sector, how organisations around the table can better collaborate and what would be useful to see from the governments delayed Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Attendees included representatives of Mind and Samaritans; Youth Mental Health Partnership; public health experts; charities like The Listening Place, Grassroots and Thrive London; and MPs Charlotte Nichols and Dean Russell. Luciana Berger, a former MP, current JLC vice-president and veteran mental health campaigner, participated too. Also providing powerful contributions were individuals who had experienced suicidal ideation and whom Jami has supported.
Liz Twist MP said: “Today has been about sharing knowledge, sharing experience and learning from each other. And, most of all, improving things for people and reducing suicides as well. I think that Jami are doing an absolutely magnificent job in reaching out to the community and providing a whole range of services. It’s so important to be able to form those working connections.”
Philippa Carr commented:
“Charities based in the community have a specific sensitivity and understanding of the people they work with. We looked at the need to launch Jami’s Jewish Community Suicide Prevention programme and work with stakeholders to provide faith and culturally nuanced training and support. Communities, charities and all colleagues together can make a huge difference to people going through such acutely painful times. We hope the announcement of the Department of Health and Social Care’s funding for the sector, together with the new National Suicide Prevention Strategy, will help services sustain and grow their much-needed work.”