100 experts at Sane charity’s ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ Toynbee Hall conference

A one-day conference is drawing experts in the field of preventing suicides to London’s East End today.

The mental health charity Sane is marking World Suicide Prevention Day with the conference of 100 delegates including health and emergency service staff, researchers and coroners, as well as members of the public.

The conference at Whitechapel’s Toynbee Hall is discussing findings of the charity’s five-year research programme into ways of prevention.

“Suicide is not always an impulsive or inevitable act,” the charity’s chief executive Marjorie Wallace said. “It’s a process which can be interrupted with the right kind of help.

“This conference is exploring new ways in which families, friends, professionals and anyone who finds themselves in contact with someone who may be suicidal can understand and have confidence to respond.”

Suicide rates are rising year by year, the charity warns. Around 6,000 people die in Britain annually “because they feel they have no other way out of their despair.”

The conference is also getting the first glimpse of a website project being developed to help anyone wanting to know how to respond to someone they are concerned about.

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The east London-based charity suggests understanding tell-tale signs of depression may help those close to someone who may be at risk to find a way to reduce their distress.

Their research has found that mental exhaustion is a contributor to the process of suicide, experienced in different ways—as a deep sense of mental and physical exhaustion, as an inability to concentrate or as a loss of motivation.

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