In The South

Brighton & Hove moves towards being a suicide safer community

Gary Hart September 3, 2015

Brighton-based charity will mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 by providing free training to the local community.


Grassroots Suicide Prevention¬†will be holding a community event between¬†7 ‚Äď 9.30 at Otherplace at the Basement, 24 Kensington St, Brighton, Brighton, BN1 4AJ¬†celebrating the city‚Äôs progress towards internationally recognised suicide safer status. Guest speaker Tara Lal, will speak about making peace with grief and suicide.

There will also be a free screening of The Stranger on the Bridge film about a man’s search for the stranger who stopped him from jumping off Waterloo Bridge, followed by a panel discussion about suicide intervention chaired by Dr Tom Scanlon, Director of Public Health at Brighton and Hove City Council.

Funding for the event and the training has come through a grant from Brighton & Hove City Council’s public health team.

World Suicide Prevention Day is led by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation. Efforts to prevent suicide have been celebrated on September 10 each year since 2003.

This year, the theme of the day is Reaching Out and Saving Lives.

The Suicide Safer Community initiative is led by LivingWorks, an international suicide intervention training social enterprise. They say Suicide-Safer Communities are passionate in their belief that suicide is preventable and that suicide prevention is a shared responsibility where every person from policy makers to individual community members has the potential to make a difference and save a life.

In acquiring an official Suicide-Safer Community designation, communities will be recognised for their efforts as leaders in formulating and implementing suicide prevention initiatives on a sustainable and ongoing basis over time.

Brighton & Hove’s application to be recognised in this way, if successful, will lead to the designation being awarded by a review committee of international and national experts, including LivingWorks.

Grassroots CEO Miranda Frost, says; ‚ÄúBrighton & Hove has a higher than average suicide rate and has done for many years.¬† In response to this issue Grassroots has been working hard with the Brighton & Hove Suicide Prevention Strategy Group partners across the city for several years to prevent suicide, and we are hopeful that the city will be recognised for its efforts next year by being awarded the Suicide Safer Community designation.¬† We will be giving an update on this work at our community event.‚ÄĚ

Guest speaker Tara Lal is a full-time fire fighter with Fire and Rescue NSW based in Sydney. Ever since her brother’s suicide Tara held onto his diaries with the intention of doing something with them. Some twenty years after his death, the time finally seemed right and Tara began transcribing them. As the writing unfolded she began to feel an overwhelming sense that somehow by telling her and her brother’s story between them they could shine a light for others as they navigated their darkest days.

Tara says; “I aim to put the statistics around suicide in context by giving a personal perspective on its impact over a lifetime.¬† I also provide hope to those affected by suicide by highlighting how the destruction and pain of loss can be used to find growth and meaning.”

The event will also recognise the success of the charity’s Stay Alive suicide prevention app launched on World Suicide Prevention Day 2014 and already a double-award winner with nearly 6,000 downloads.

For more information about, Grassroots Suicide Prevention, click here:

Event: Grassroot Suicide Prevention community event with guest speaker Tara Lal

Where: Otherplace at the Basement, 24 Kensington St, Brighton, Brighton, BN1 4AJ

When: Thursday, September 10

Time:¬†7 ‚Äď 9.30pm

Tickets: Free entry