This week John McGowan discusses whether trying to eliminate suicide entirely is a possibility or even a helpful aim.

This week’s podcast is recording of a public lecture given in our new base in Tunbridge Wells. In this talk (delivered in December 2017) our Academic Director John McGowan considers the ‘Zero Suicide’ initiative and the strengths and weaknesses of assertive suicide prevention approaches. As well as the talk, the recording features a range of contributions from the audience.


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Links to things talked about on this show:

The original DOH Suicide Prevention Strategy from 2012.

The updating of the Department of Health’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The British Psychological Society Suicide Prevention guidance.

Some resources on the Zero Suicide initiative in the USA and in the UK.

A recent paper from the British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin considering the degree to which suicides can be predicted.

Two research projects by recent graduates from our training scheme. Both look at health staff working with the risk of suicide:

Crowley, Sarah (2015) Recognising and responding to suicide risk in a community mental health setting. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Nalletamby, Lucie (2015) The discursive construction of ‘suicide’ and the effects for clinical practice. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.


If you need to talk about difficult or suicidal feelings you  can contact The Samaritans here.


Please note The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the contributors employing organisations.


Producer: John McGowan

Assistant Producer: Saul McGowan