Rotherham to host suicide prevention conference

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A conference is to be held in Rotherham focusing on preventing suicide and ensuring support for those at risk of self harm.

Experts from Rotherham and across the country are set to gather on April 3 for the town’s first Suicide Prevention Conference.

Organised by Rotherham Borough Council and Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board, the event will bring together professionals from a range of organisations including schools, youth services, health services, social services, police and the voluntary sector.

The theme of the conference is ‘suicide prevention is everyone’s business.’

Dr John Radford, Rotherham Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Suicide and self-harm are highly complex and sensitive issues which devastate families.

“They are difficult issues to talk about but we want to encourage people to address them head on, and to understand how we can all better work together as professionals – and as communities – to tackle these issues.

“We are committed to helping people who are in need of support, and this requires a depth of understanding and co-ordinated response from a variety of agencies.

“The message from this event is clear - we all need to work together to prevent suicide and self-harm and to make sure people get help when they need it.”

The event builds on partnership work which is already taking place in the borough, including frontline staff being trained to identify people in emotional distress, provide initial support and signpost them to further help.

Staff from schools, the youth service, police, housing providers and counselling services are among those trained.