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The Suicide Support Journey

Conference: Thursday 7th March    |    Training day: Friday 8th March

Talking Benches, Guernsey Mind and Guernsey Samaritans are organising this significant two-day event at Les Cotils, Guernsey, on the 7th and 8th of March to support those affected by suicide. 

This event aims to open a dialogue about the crucial topic of suicide, featuring guest speakers from Suicide Bereavement UK. 

The first day of the event on Thursday 7 March is dedicated to a conference which will include a series of discussions and presentations

The second day will see a shift in focus from discussion to practical training.

Anyone who has been affected by suicide is welcome and can choose to attend the conference, Suicide First Aid training or both. 

Our Speakers

We are honoured to have a panel of experts who are not only well-versed in their respective fields but have also shown immense dedication to the cause of suicide prevention and bereavement support.

  • Dr Sharon McDonnell is an esteemed specialist in suicide bereavement research. Her expertise in the field is recognised internationally, and she continues to make significant contributions to our understanding of this critical area.

  • Angela Samata serves as a Lived-Experience Advisor, Trainer, and Creative Consultant at Suicide Bereavement UK. Her personal experiences have informed her work, making her an invaluable source of insight and guidance.

  • Liz Koole, an experienced social worker, has dedicated her career to working with children and families following bereavement by suicide. Her compassionate approach and specialised knowledge make her a vital asset to our panel.

Content & Programme of Events

 Conference Day 
Thursday 7th March 9am-4pm


The first day of the event is dedicated to a conference which will include a series of discussions and presentations led by experts in the field. It will culminate in a question-and-answer panel session, providing an opportunity for participants to engage with the speakers and delve deeper into the subjects discussed.



  • Registration

  • Welcome by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor

  • Dr Sharon McDonnell Suicide: Breaking the silence for those bereaved by suicide

  • Coffee

  • Angela Samata Lived Experience: How and why should we use it

  • Buffet lunch

  • Liz Koole What about us? Supporting children and young people after a suicide

  • Panel Q&A Session

  • Closing speech

Please note, timings and order are subject to change

There will be a cost of £20 to attend the conference.

 Training Day 
Friday 8th March 9.30am-1pm


Waiting list available

Suicide First Aid Lite

Guernsey Mind will be running Suicide First Aid Lite training. This 3.5-hour session is open to anyone attend.

The course will help participants spot the early signs that someone may be struggling and build confidence to apply a ‘first aid approach’ to avoid a crisis and help someone with thoughts of suicide stay safe and stay alive.


There will be a cost of £40 to attend this training.

The cost for this course will be subsidised by Guernsey Mind. Limited spaces available.



 Training Day 
Friday 8th March

Responding to Suicide

Suicide Bereavement UK will deliver Responding to Suicide (RTS) training to emergency services personnel. The workshop will help increase skills and confidence when responding to those bereaved by suicide.


The content is:

  • Evidence-based

  • Trauma-informed

  • Co-produced with emergency services personnel

  • Recognises and addresses personal impact

  • Provides tools, techniques and practical information

Places have been reserved for all emergency services.

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