About this event

  • Date and time Thu 30 Nov 2023 from 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Psychiatry

This conference agenda addresses the urgent and sensitive issue of suicide in children and young people. This is a matter of great concern particularly as we now know from the latest National Confidential Inquiry report that the increase in suicide among young people in the general population is also reflected in those in contact with mental health services. The consequences are both tragic and long lasting, with impacts on families, communities and professionals alike.

Our conference aims to provide a platform that offers diverse perspectives to inform and inspire initiatives aimed at enhancing understanding and care for children and young people who have lived experience of suicidality, and for the communities around them including the professionals in mental health and education who care for them. The agenda will explore research including updates from the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health and the implications for policy and practice, as well as addressing the concerns of professionals from educational institutions such as schools, further education colleges, and universities. Finally the agenda addresses the sustainable delivery of good quality mental health services for children and young people and their families, and the influence that a death by suicide may have on service delivery. Our panel of speakers includes professionals and academics from various backgrounds with a wealth of expertise, and juxtaposes these approaches with the views of people with lived experience of suicidality and loss from suicide.

The primary goal of this symposium is to facilitate meaningful dialogue among mental health, public health and education professionals, and broader stakeholders. This event provides a unique opportunity for informed discussion, knowledge sharing, and interactive dialogue on a wide range of issues related to this sensitive topic. Participants will gain fresh insights, enhancing their understanding of research as well as the practical realities of coping with systems and services after a suicide from both a professional and a personal perspective.

The conference proceedings will be accessible as an on-demand recording, as well as an in person event ensuring convenience for our diverse audience. To access the recording, please follow this registration link

Key benefits of attending the conference:

  • Professional development: Gain updated insights and knowledge in the field of youth suicide prevention and Postvention, regardless of your professional background.
  • Postvention strategies: Understand the importance of effectively addressing the aftermath of suicide incidents, fostering resilience and support in affected communities.
  • Support awareness: Learn about the crucial need to provide sustained support to individuals affected by suicide and some of the resources available.
  • Collaborative opportunities: Explore ways to bridge gaps between different sectors, including mental health professionals and school or university staff, promoting the exchange of ideas and perspectives, and contributing to a collective solution.
  • Public impact: Your participation actively contributes to raising public awareness about the vital importance of addressing suicide in children and young people and ensuring that the communities it affects are adequately supported, breaking a vicious circle perpetuating poor mental health, suicidality and self-harm.

We invite you to participate in the discussion. Your involvement could help pave the way toward creating a more sustainable supportive environment for our children and youth.

We would like to extend our gratitude to The Charlie Waller Trust for their support of the event.

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Key speakers

Nav Kapur

Professor Nav Kapur

Professor, Psychiatry and Population Health, University of Manchester

Speaker's biography

Professor Nav Kapur is a Professor of Psychiatry and Population Health at the University of Manchester, UK and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. He has spent the last 25 years researching suicidal behaviour, particularly its causes, treatment and prevention. He has led committees for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK including those developing guidelines for how all clinical staff should help people after self-harm.


He sits on the main advisory group on suicide for the Department of Health in England and directs national quality improvement work to prevent suicide. He is the lead author of Suicide Prevention (3rd Edition, Oxford University Press) and has published over 350 academic papers.


Professor Kapur was the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Suicidology Louis I. Dublin Award for lifetime achievement in suicide prevention and the 2021 International Association of Suicide Prevention Stengel Award for outstanding research.


Ann John

Professor Ann John

Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, University of Swansea and Chair, National Advisory Group to Welsh Government on Suicide, Welsh Government

Speaker's biography

Ann John, a public health trained former General Practitioner, is a Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Swansea University Medical School with a research focus on suicide and self-harm prevention and children and young people’s mental health. She is a Principal Investigator at the National Centre for Mental Health and Co-Director of DATAMIND, the Health Data Research UK Hub for Mental Health. She is the Strategic Lead for Mental Health Research Public Health Wales. During the pandemic Ann co-led a number of pivotal projects in the field including the Living Systematic Review.


Ann works across sectors translating research into evidence-based practice and policy to prevent suicide and self-harm. She played a key role in the development of Wales National Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Strategy, UK Cluster Guidance, UK Postvention Framework in Higher Education and leads the Suicide Information Database-Wales. Ann chairs the National Advisory Group to Welsh Government and co-chairs the Cross- Government Group on suicide and self-harm prevention and is the national lead for suicide prevention for Public Health Wales. She has worked on a number of major TV storylines from Eastenders, Coronation Street to the BBC’s This is Going to Hurt enabling the responsible depiction of suicidal behaviors. She is regularly called upon to provide advice to both Wales and UK Government.

Prathiba Chitsabesan

Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan

National Clinical Director for Children and Young People's Mental Health, NHS England, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Professor, University College London and Manchester Metropolitan University

Speaker's biography

Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan is National Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Health, NHS England.


Prathiba is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry working in a large mental health and community trust (Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust). Lead consultant since 2005, she became Clinical Director in 2015 and continues to work clinically within a community child and adolescent mental health service in South Manchester. She graduated from Medicine (University of Manchester) before completing her MD, inspiring her interest in the needs of children and young people in contact with the criminal justice system.


Over the last 12 years she has published in journals and books and contributed to national reports and guidance for the Youth Justice Board and Office of the Children’s Commissioner.


She has contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool across the youth justice secure estate for the Department of Health and NHS England and continues to be research active as an Honorary Research Fellow and Lecturer for the Offender Health Research Network (University of Manchester).


As a clinical advisor (Greater Manchester and East Cheshire Strategic Clinical Networks), she has also promoted the development of regional clinical guidance across Greater Manchester.

Dennis Ougrin

Professor Dennis Ougrin

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Global Mental Health, Queen Mary University of London

Speaker's biography

Professor Dennis Ougrin graduated from medical school in Ukraine in 1998 and came to the Maudsley Hospital in the UK to undertake his postgraduate training in child and adolescent psychiatry. He worked as a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist establishing and leading intensive community care services at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He also led the Master of Science (MSc) in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at King’s College London and acted as the Chief Investigator of major National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council (MRC) and charity-funded studies in the field of self-harm and intensive community care services. In 2018-2020 he was the editor-in-chief of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, a key clinical journal in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology and allied disciplines. In September 2021 he was appointed to lead the Youth Resilience Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.


He led a programme of global mental health studies aimed at developing community mental health services in Ukraine and other Low-and Middle-Income Countries. His main professional interests include the prevention of Borderline Personality Disorder and effective interventions for self-harm in young people.


Professor Ougrin is the author of Therapeutic Assessment, a novel model of assessment for young people with self-harm. He also developed and tested an Intensive Community Care Service model for young people with severe psychiatric disorders called Supported Discharge Service. The model was evaluated in the first randomised controlled trial of an intensive community care service for young people in the UK. The results of the trial informed the development of intensive community care services in the UK and internationally. He has expertise in conducting randomised controlled trials in the fields of psychological therapy and mental health service models. 


He also works on developing modular psychotherapeutic interventions for self-harm and on understanding the pathophysiology of self-harm in young people.


Dick Moore

Dr Dick Moore

Teacher, father and grandfather, Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Speaker, The Charlie Waller Trust

Speaker's biography

Educated at Durham and Newcastle Universities, Dick has been English teacher, rugby coach and, for almost 23 years, a headteacher. He is also a father and grandfather! He has spoken at over 450 schools, businesses, universities and conferences around the world about his passion for the emotional and mental health of young people and he has strong views both about how our education system needs to change and about the evolving needs both of young people and society at large.


Dick is an instructor for Mental Health First Aid, a speaker for the Charlie Waller Trust and attended an ASIST course focusing on suicide intervention. Dick has appeared on BBC Breakfast, ITN News, BBC Radio 5 Live and numerous local radio stations and gave a TEDx talk in 2015. He has a passion for all sport! (especially Fulham FC!), the Gallipoli Campaign and the American Civil War.

Jen Hope

Ms Jen Hope

Area Director of East and West Midlands, Senior Policy Lead of Mental Health, Association of Colleges

Speaker's biography

Jen has worked in the further education sector for twenty years, starting her career within the Student Services team in an inner-city college in Nottingham, before joining a national student membership organisation with a focus on organisational development, learner voice strategy and further education policy. In her current role at the Association of Colleges, Jen is the Area Director for the East and West Midlands, supporting college senior leaders and governors to navigate sector and local education priorities. She is also the Senior Policy Lead for mental health, championing the voice of colleges within emerging policy and campaigning for resource and system improvement for mental health in further education. She is a qualified counsellor, with ten years’ service within higher education and community organisations.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Dr Gordana Milavić, President, Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine

From national statistics to individual impact

Keynote: Suicide and self-harm in young people: Research, practice, and strategy

Professor Nav Kapur, Professor, Psychiatry and Population Health, University of Manchester

Keynote: To be or not to be...

Mr Dick Moore, Teacher, father and grandfather, Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Speaker, The Charlie Waller Trust

Panel discussion

Chair: Professor Kevin Gournay, Emeritus Professor, King's College London and Honorary Professor, Matilda Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health University of Sydney

Professor Nav Kapur, Mr Dick Moore, Professor Dennis Ougrin, Professor Ann John, Dr Simon Merrywest and Ms Kelly Lovegrove, Head Teacher

Tea and coffee break

How should we anticipate, how should we respond? The effect of suicide across schools, colleges and universities

Schools, suicide, self-harm and prevention

Professor Ann John, Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, University of Swansea and Chair, National Advisory Group to Welsh Government on Suicide, Welsh Government

Interventions for adolescents with self-harm

Professor Dennis Ougrin, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Global Mental Health, Queen Mary University of London

How should we anticipate, how should we respond?

Ms Jen Hope, Area Director of East and West Midlands, Senior Policy Lead of Mental Health, Association of Colleges

Universities challenged: Quandaries of mental health support

Dr Simon Merrywest, Director for the Student Experience, University of Manchester, Co-Chair, Greater Manchester Student Mental Health Service 

A funny kind of irony

Dr Nicola Byrom, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, King's College London, Founder, Student Minds 

Panel discussion

Chair: Dr Jacqueline Philips Owen, President Elect, Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine, Lead for School Mental Health Innovation and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley Lead

Professor Dennis Ougrin, Ms Jen Hope, Professor Ann John, Dr Simon Merrywest, Dr Nicola Byrom, Ms Kelly Lovegrove


The effect of suicide on service delivery : Supporting across the community

Losing a son through suicide: Reflections on personal and professional impact

Mr Simon Jones, Mental Health Nurse and father

Suicide in children and young people - Impact and support from a Welsh perspective

Dr Euan Hails MBE QN, Designated Education Clinical Lead Officer (DECLO) and Consultant Nurse, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, University of South Wales, Director Clinical and Therapeutic Governance, Adferiad

Mr Adam Edwards, Operational and Clinical lead for Forensic CAMHS, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Managing Suicide in an NHS service

Dr Steven Voy, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, NHS Fife 

Panel discussion

Chair: Dr Gordana Milavić

Professor Euan Hails, Mr Adam Edwards, Dr Steven Voy, Ms Kelly Lovegrove, Ms Jen Hope and Dr Simon Merrywest

National children and young people’s mental health programme: Suicides in children and young people

Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan, National Clinical Director for Children and Young People's Mental Health, NHS England, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Professor, University College London and Manchester Metropolitan University

Closing remarks

Dr Jacqueline Philips Owen

Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom


Registration for this event will close at 1:00am on Wednesday 29 November 2023. Late registrations will not be accepted.

The agenda is subject to change at any time

If the event is recorded, we are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. There is no guarantee that all sessions will be available after the event, this is at the presenter’s and RSM’s discretion.

All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations.

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.

Domus - reception

While you’re attending this event

Why not stay in the comfort of our hotel, Domus Medica, book dinner in the restaurant, or even hire one of our private dining rooms to socialise with your peers?

RSM members enjoy access to our enviable club facilities. For more information, please contact our team at domus@rsm.ac.uk or restaurant@rsm.ac.uk.

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