Workshop to help save lives
An international trainer, author, therapist and performance coach is heading south to train people working in the mental health sector on suicide prevention.
John Henden, of the United Kingdom, will host a one-day workshop in Invercargill, called Preventing Suicide: The Solution Focused Approach, at Ascot Park Hotel on February 12.
Henden has worked within mental health services as practitioner and a manager, and has a background in psychology, is a qualified counsellor and a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Loss and Grief centre director Caroline Loo invited Henden to the region because of alarming rates of suicide.
‘‘We are very aware of the high rates for Southland and are working with local groups to help support our youth more. This workshop opportunity was very timely.
‘‘Our trust is committed to providing world class training to our community each year and when we heard John was returning to New Zealand we were excited to be able to provide this for Southland.
‘‘Feedback from last year’s course held in Dunedin had been so positive,’’ she said.
‘‘There are still spaces available and we welcome anyone working with vulnerable people in the mental health sector to register and especially social workers, counsellors, doctors, nurses, SDHB staff, police, drop in staff, crisis helplines, voluntary bodies or individual counsellors.’’
Henden said the subject of suicide prevention was close to home for him. ‘‘I have my own lived experience of suicide, and during my time in formal UK mental health services was an accessory to the fact of about 20 suicides. That is, I was a member of teams who were supposed to be treating and caring for this number who died by suicide.’’
In the past 20 years, Henden has worked with survivors of traumatic experiences, including armed robbery, near-death experiences, rape, road traffic accidents, sudden death, abuse, chronic depression, schizoaffective states and military combat.
This is the first training for the year for the Loss and Grief Centre, but in May staff from the Auckland Grief Centre will be in the region for training with Tricia Hendry, an author and long-time grief advocate.