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  • Derbyshire Mental Health Forum

Joint Countywide Forum Meeting - March 2022

1.Welcome and Introductions

Jodie Cook welcomed everyone to the forum meeting and introduced herself as the Mental Health Policy Officer for the Derbyshire Mental Health Forum (DMHF). The meeting was the first of the two 2022 Joint Countywide Forum Meetings co-hosted by the Mental Health Liaison Service at Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) and DMHF.

Rachel Bounds is the community engagement worker at DVA and facilitates the Mental Health Liaison Service alongside Bryony White.

Freddie Winter is the latest addition to the DMHF team and has been in his role for a month now. He will be helping Jodie with the administration and communication side of the forum.

2. Women in Prison: Mental Health and Neurodiversity

Sue Wheatcroft, Campaigner for change

Sue shared an insightful presentation about the mental health problems faced by women in prison. It included some powerful real-life stories, suicide statistics, and extracts from reports and research in this area.

Sue concluded by highlighting that the UK has the highest level of female incarceration in Europe and that prevention (treatment and support) is likely to do far more than punishment – with punishment likely to only make vulnerable women’s mental health and behaviour worse when they leave prison.

Sue’s slides have been shared with these minutes and she has also kindly shared the following links for people who would like to delve a little bit deeper into this subject.

Sue’s email is if you would like to get in touch.

Women in prison
Download PDF • 1.63MB

3. Strategic Self Harm Review and Suicide Prevention Proposals

James Creaghan, Derbyshire Public Health Lead for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

James shared an informative review on Suicide and Self Harm across Derbyshire covering:

Suicide Statistics – The two ways suicide rates are measured, the trends and what the data shows. A key point was that despite the movement in the total figures, the trends remain consistent across gender (predominately male), geographies and demographic – meaning preventative work can be more targeted.

Interestingly there has not been an increase in suicide rates through the pandemic and we discussed some reasoning as to why that might be, considering communities coming together more, and less social/work pressure on people. Having said this, there has been an increase in people seeking support.

Mental Health across the population – James shared some statistics across the population of Derbyshire highlighting that ¼ people are at risk of a mental health condition which could therefore potentially lead to depression or suicide if not shared by the individual and supported and treated. Demonstrating the importance of preventative measures.

Derbyshire’s Approach – The three approaches Derbyshire are taking are a Prevention Partnership Forum, Community Focussed and Working with Target Groups. There is also commissioned support for prevention and postvention through a number of organisations.

Review – James shared the findings of the Self-harm Review and the Philosophical Principles - designed to build more support in the community.

James ended by talking through the strategies being launched along with upcoming events and training.

Strategic Self Harm Review and Suicide Prevention DMHF 22.03.2022.pptx
Download PDF • 851KB

4. Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS)

Eric Thwaites, CEO, SoBS

Eric gave a great introduction of SoBS – who they are, what their mission and vision is and what their values are. He talked through why postvention is so important, reducing the risk of suicide. He also highlighted interesting statistics such as, up to 150 people are affected by a suicide.

They provide comprehensive support through their helpline (now operated 9am – 9pm, 7 days a week), email support, support groups, online forums (now international) and virtual groups (soon to become national).

SoBS are working with Derbyshire County Council as part of their Suicide Prevention Partnership and Bereavement Hub.

Eric’s email address is if you would like any more information.

Eric Thwaites SoBS presentation 13-1-2021
Download PDF • 1.19MB

5. Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Project

Ellie Scott, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Development Worker, Erewash Voluntary Action

Ellie is leading one of the commissioned suicide prevention projects James Creagan spoke about, aiming to raise awareness of mental health and suicide in community groups, sports clubs and VCSEs – primarily targeting young to middle aged males.

The project provides training, policy and actions plans, resources, ongoing support, cases study opportunities and access to the new Mental Health First Aid Network.

Ellie has some great resources such as Crisis Cards with key information and a Mental Health Language Guide that she is happy to share with anyone.

Think Fest! – Through the Georgia Bird Foundation, Ellie is organising Think Fest! A mental awareness festival in Chesterfield Town on 14th May 2022.

Please get in touch with Ellie if you want to know how you can be involved or want to know more.

Ellie’s email is

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Project DMHF Presentation
Download PDF • 469KB

6. Mental Health Alliance and VCSE Representation Meeting

Jodie Cook, Mental Health Policy Officer for the Derbyshire Mental Health Forum

Jodie informed everyone that there is a meeting on 31st March to discuss how the mental health VCSE sector want to be represented as part of an alliance to provide joined up care for Mental Health, Learning difficulties and Autism, Children and Young People.

It is early days, and the meeting seeks to find out what VCSE’s would want from an alliance, how they should be represented and how could they be engaged.

The meeting will be held via Zoom with the link shared on Derbyshire Mental Health and DVA Forum News.

7. Partner Updates and Close

Ben Gough introduced himself as a new Group Development Worker for the Rethink Derbyshire Recovery and Peer Support Service and is happy for people to get in touch and connect with him -

Jodie Cook informed everyone that there is a Derbyshire Mental Health Community Groups Network meeting on 6th April at 1.30pm – aimed at smaller organisations who want to share ideas and have discussions.

The next Derbyshire Mental Health Forum Meeting is 28th June at 1.30pm.

Rachel Bounds confirmed their DVA Mental Health Forum will take place on Tuesday 10th May which will be on the subject of Loneliness, to tie in with Mental Health Awareness Week. There will also be the Health and Social Care Forum on Wednesday 11th May.

Please get in touch with if you would like to attend either meeting.

A big thank you to our speakers, everyone who attended the meeting, and to those who gave their apologies if they couldn’t make it - we look forward to seeing you at the next Forum meeting.

A list of attendance is available on request.

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