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Insights for the prevention of suicide and self-harm: A conversation for clinicians

Keith Hawton, Sarah Hughes (Chair), Chinonyerem Ibekwe & Karen Lascelles

10 Sept 2024


Many clinicians will be supporting clients who are self-harming and will be managing those at risk of suicide. The NICE Guideline on self-harm published in September 2022 made it clear that

risk assessment tools and risk stratification do not accurately predict risk and are more likely to be inaccurate than not. The BABCP wrote to its members to express support for the changes needed to make sure that mental health professionals use more person-centred approaches to safety planning for people with mental health needs, including that clinicians should undertake a risk formulation as part of every psychosocial assessment. It is clear that updating practice to ensure optimal strategies for the prevention of suicide and self-harm is a national priority to benefit both clients and clinicians. 


The aim of this conversation between world-leading researchers and clinicians, chaired by the CEO of MIND, is to provide insights for the prevention of suicide and self-harm for practitioners.

Learning Objectives

This is a pre-recorded session that will be made available on World Suicide Prevention Day that aims to cover topics such as:
• Therapeutic risk management (rather than focussing on prediction)
• Understanding the transition from suicidal thoughts to suicidal acts
• Effective therapies and interventions
• Helping clinicians with the impact of suicide and self-harm by patients
• Barriers to practitioners seeking help
• Understanding and managing clinician fear
• Family carers involvement and support 

Key References

Hawton, K., Lascelles, K., Pitman, A., Gilbert, S., & Silverman, M. (2022). Assessment of suicide risk in mental health practice: shifting from prediction to therapeutic assessment, formulation, and risk management. The Lancet Psychiatry, 9(11), 922-928.

NICE Guideline NG225 on Self-harm: assessment, management and preventing recurrence, September 2022.

1177710_letter-to-education-providers-and-members-of-psychological-professions-workforce-stakeholder-group-fv-01.06.2023.pdf (

About the presenters

Professor Keith Hawton, CBE, Emeritus Director, Centre for Suicide Research, Oxford University. Keith Hawton is an internationally recognised pioneer in the prevention of suicide and self-harm. His lifetime of achievements in the field was recognised with a CBE in 2020. He has written hundreds of papers, written key books and developed the next generation of clinical researchers. His work led to changes to the types and volumes of painkillers available to buy over-the-counter which has saved countless lives.

Dr Sarah Hughes, CEO Mind. Dr. Hughes has worked in mental health and criminal justice for 34 years. After originally training as a social worker, Sarah has spent the majority of her career in the voluntary sector within both community and secure settings. Sarah became CEO of CPSL Mind in 2004 and has also led the prestigious think tank The Centre for Mental Health. She also holds advisory and board roles with organisations including the FA, Kooth PLC and IIMHL.
Sarah is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Sciana and Salzburg Global. She is also a social commentator and has been invited to speak at many international events. In 2022 she achieved her professional doctorate studying women and leadership. 

Chinonyerem Ibekwe, Clinical Lead for NHS Talking therapies and Primary Care (Psychological Therapies), Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. Chinonyerem Ibekwe, Clinical Lead for NHS Talking Therapies and Primary Care (Psychological Therapies), Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.
Chinonyerem has served as a Clinical Lead in several NHS Trusts, successfully managing large teams, and driving positive change in patient care delivery. Through compassionate leadership, she has created a collaborative and supportive environment where healthcare professionals thrive, and patients receive quality care. She is passionate about quality improvement, staff development, inclusion, and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is a consultant CBT and an EMDR practitioner with over 18 years of experience working within the NHS.
Chinonyerem has a Master’s in Healthcare Leadership and an MBA in Healthcare Sector which has helped her foster a culture of continuous improvement, patient safety, evidence-based practices and innovative approaches.

Karen Lascelles, Mental Health Nurse Consultant and Suicide Prevention Lead, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. She has done extensive work on suicide awareness training for staff and partner organisations. With Keith Hawton and other colleagues, she has developed guidance to help clinicians identify and treat people at risk of suicide. This alternative approach to clinical practice intends to reduce risk through a person-centred strategy in which assessment is regarded as a therapeutic process which is aimed at identifying interventions to enhance well-being, together with an individualised safety plan developed collaboratively with the patient.

Who should attend

The session recording is open to all clinicians and suitable for anyone who wishes to ensure their practice is up-to-date and in line with national guidance.

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