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In connection with World Suicide Prevention Day 2014, The National Suicide Research Foundation and Cork Samaritans are co-hosting a free event on Thursday, September 11th from 2pm – 5.30pm.

The “Responding to Suicidal Crisis – Research, Policy and Practice in Ireland” Seminar takes place in the Corcaigh Suite, Cork County Hall, Carrigrohane Road. The event is free to attend and all are welcome. The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mary Shields and the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health, Minister Kathleen Lynch TD will be in attendance.

Every year, approximately 550 people die by suicide in Ireland. A suicidal crisis is a time-limited occurrence, lasting hours or days, whereby a person is at acute risk, namely, seriously considering harming him/herself or taking his/her own life. It is considered a medical emergency. Effective intervention for those in crisis is a key component of suicide prevention.

Cindy O’ Shea, Director of Cork Samaritans will be presenting on the community services that Samaritans offers and states that “Cork Samaritans are very pleased to be collaborating with the National Suicide Research Foundation on this Conference to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. The importance of connected thinking and shared expertise cannot be underestimated and by working together we can truly address suicide as a cross community issue.”

Eileen Williamson, Executive Director at the National Suicide Research Foundation states that: “The National Suicide Research Foundation welcomes the opportunity of collaborating with Cork Samaritans in offering to the public this seminar on Responding to Suicide Crisis. The seminar is being held in connection with World Suicide Prevention Day, the theme of which, this year is Suicide Prevention: One World Connected. Connections at many levels are essential in addressing the public health issue that is suicide. We feel sure that the connection or coming together of the National Suicide Research Foundation and Cork Samaritans to share their respective expertise in research and practice will be of huge benefit in informing policy and to all who are working in the broad area of suicide prevention”.

Professor Ella Arensman, Director of Research at the National Suicide Research Foundation, Adjunct Professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health UCC, and President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention states that: “The seminar offers a major opportunity to improve the connection between research and service provision for people at risk of suicide and self-harm as reflected by the link between the NSRF and the Samaritans and HSE mental health services”. “The seminar includes the launch of an innovative study, of which the main aim is to improve the knowledge base of both risk and protective factors related to suicide and self-harm including psychosocial, psychiatric and work-related factors. The study will also give the opportunity to facilitate support for bereaved family members, and to explore their wellbeing and views in the aftermath of the suicide. This innovative study is funded by the Health Research Board”.

The seminar will include a research as well as a practice session, and will cover several topics, including;

  • Life-events, mental health and work-related factors associated with suicidal crisis
  • Monitoring real-time incidence of self-harm and suicide
  • Evidence-based approaches to responding to crisis

The keynote speaker for the seminar will be Professor Nav Kapur, an internationally-respected researcher in the area of mental health and Head of Research at the Centre for Suicide Prevention in the University of Manchester. Professor Kapur leads the suicide work programme of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness. The seminar also marks the launch of the SSIS-ACE, a case-control study which is being conducted by the National Suicide Research Foundation and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, aimed at identifying psycho-social, psychiatric and work-related factors associated with suicide in Ireland.

There will be a workshop later that evening aimed at professionals working in the area of suicidality entitled “Responding to Emerging Suicide Clusters – From Guidelines to Implementation” which will engage key stakeholders in an interactive session and will involve the drafting of an evidence-based implementation plan for responding to emerging suicide clusters.