Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset Suicide Prevention Summit – Monday 13 January 2020

Thank you to everyone that attended the Summit. You can keep up to date with our work in this area here. 

In partnership with civic and healthcare authorities across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the Independent Mental Health Network (‘IMHN’) are proud to announce the upcoming Suicide Prevention Summit.

The Summit will take place as part of the Shine On Suicide Prevention Campaignon Monday 13 January 2020 at City Hall, College Green Bristol.

The aim of the Summit will be to agree a clear call-to-action on working together to prevent suicide, providing space and opportunities for both people with lived experience of mental health, and from within wider communities, to help shape this.

IMHN CEO Tom Renhard, said:

“We feel it is vital to be creating spaces for community groups and individuals with lived experience that are leading the fight to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, to come together and play a crucial role in how this work develops. 

We are supporting a wider regional ambition to reduce the number of people taking their own lives and doing that requires a grassroots approach as well as support from senior leadership. One life lost is one too many, and there is plenty for us all to do to ensure people know there is support available out there and play a role in improving things for the future.”

Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Bristol City Council Cabinet member for Communities, said:

“It is vital that we work with other organisations to help prevent suicide by offering the right support at the right time to those who need it. 

“Of equal importance is listening to people who have felt suicidal, and to the families and communities that have been impacted by suicide. This lived experience can help us shape mental health services and ensure no one in Bristol is unsupported.’’

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (‘BNSSG CCG’) will be sharing details of the all-age mental health strategy currently being developed for the area, which will be published in 2020.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive Officer of BNSSG CCG, said:

“Suicide is preventable rather than inevitable, and every person that takes their own life is one too many.

We are delighted to be working with people and partners across the area, including those with lived experience of mental ill health and self-harm, to tackle this together. Creating the right support network for people at risk of suicide requires a combined effort – from the NHS, councils, community and voluntary groups, families and others.

The summit will play a key role in joining this up, so that people can get the support they need, when they need it.”

The event programme will also consider the latest research into suicide prevention, work happening nationally, and a focus on initiatives and stories by people in the local area. We will also be inviting attendees to share their experiences and ideas about suicide prevention, stating what role communities should be playing in this work going forwards.

Because of the range of individuals and organisations expected to attend, spaces are limited. Please visit to book an individual free place.

Please direct any queries to engagement[@]

Notes for Editors

What is the Shine On Campaign?

Shine On is a campaign focussing on suicide prevention across the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, tackling suicide via a variety of initiatives; including a community grant scheme, the Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund.

The campaign is delivered by a partnership of organisations including Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Community Access & Support Service (CASS), Second Step, and the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN).

What is the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)?

IMHN is a member-led organisation that work both for and in the interests of people with lived experience of mental health. We support work improving local mental health services, contribute and campaign on mental health matters happening both locally and nationally, and actively challenge mental health stigma by working with partner organisations.

Why is the Shine On campaign, and the Summit being run for the Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire area?

In 2017, NHS England allocated an amount of money to address the higher than average suicide rate in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area. This fund is managed by the BNSSG Suicide Prevention Transformation Fund Working Group, and funds initiatives such as Second Step’s Hope Project, local campaigning and awareness raising, and more. This Working Group is supporting IMHN in delivering this campaign.

Who are the partners of the campaign?

This campaign is supported by the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Transformation Working Group. The Working Group is a partnership of local organisations that aim to address the higher-than-average rate of suicide across the local area. The group consists of:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Bristol City Council
  • Bristol North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)
  • Community Access Support Service (CASS)
  • Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN)
  • North Somerset Council
  • Public Health England
  • Second Step
  • South Gloucestershire Council
  • University of Bristol
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

 Where Can I Get More Information?

  • the campaign website can be found at
  • for further enquiries, please email  engagement[@]

December 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm

Content note; please note that this piece contains discussions of suicide and self-harm. 

The Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund, launched by IMHN in the run up to Shine On (a campaign about working together to prevent suicide) back in September 2019. The fund was launched to support local groups whose work helps to prevent suicide and self-harm across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (‘BNSSG’).

We were delighted to receive a large variety of applications from a number of local groups across the area, with some original initiatives concerning suicide prevention. Many of these have already taken place – you can read about what went on here.

Due to the success of the fund, IMHN and the Shine On campaign are excited to launch a second round of funding, for initiatives taking place into the new year of 2020.

About the Fund

The Suicide Prevention Innovation Fund supports local groups whose work helps to prevent suicide and self-harm across the BNSSG area. In particular, we are looking for imaginative and innovative projects which aim to reduce the numbers of suicides in:

  • middle aged men
  • men and women aged 16-25
  • BAME communities
  • LGBTQ+ communities
  • Disabled communities

This innovation grant is available to support new or emerging projects. They can benefit from a small pot of funding that is intended to support initiatives that prevent suicides and reduce self-harm in the BNSSG area.

Applicants can apply for one-off funding grants of up to £250 towards their project (or up to £500 where it is across BNSSG).

How do I apply and when is the closing date?

The application form can be found here. Completed application forms need to be submitted to: engagement[@] (removing the brackets from that email address).

Any applications will be considered in the order that they are received; please therefore send your application in as soon as you can, as interest is high.

December 6, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IMHN’s Bristol branch is a key partner of the Time to Change Bristol hub. The hub furthers the work of Time to Change, a growing movement of people dedicated to breaking down mental health stigma.

One of Time to Change’s key initiatives is the Employer Pledge. This is a pledge that employers can sign to show commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.

Yesterday, on World Mental Health Day 2019, Bank of Ireland signed up to the Time to Change Employer Pledge at its offices at Temple Quay, Bristol, in the presence of employees, members of the Bank’s leadership team, representatives from the Time to Change Bristol hub, and Bristol City Council.

Bank of Ireland join over 1,200 organisations, collectively employing over 2 million people, who have now signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge nationally. The Bank of Ireland also joins a number of other large employers within Bristol who have signed the pledge within the last twelve months, including Bristol City Council and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. 

Read more at the press release published to BIMHN’s website.

October 11, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Time to Change are a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. The Time to Change Bristol hub is a partnership of local organisations and people within the city of Bristol who are committed to ending mental health stigma and discrimination.

The Bristol hub is organised by a partnership of local organisations. The Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN), IMHN’s Bristol branch, is a lead partner, and takes an active role in bringing local partners and stakeholder to deliver an effective and open campaign combatting mental health stigma.

Read more about the Time to Change Bristol hub here.

What’s Happening this Autumn?

This October and November will see two sets of training delivered to local Time to Change Champions.

Social Contact Training will develop participants’ skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence in opening up a conversation in everyday life to improve negative attitudes surrounding mental health.

Speaking Out Training will build the confidence and skills of Time to Change Champions to speak out to an audience about mental health, their own experience of mental health problems, and why we need to continue to challenge stigma.

Furthermore, on Thursday 23 October, the hub will be hosting the Time to Change Bristol Celebration Event. This will see members of the public and local Time to Change Champions come together for an evening of networking, information, food and activities to celebrate the work and successes of the hub over recent months. Conversations will take place around how the hub can continue to have a positive impact in the future.

If you’re in Bristol on that date, there are still some spaces available at the event, but are limited – get your free ticket here!

September 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Last month, one of IMHN’s trustees, Tracy Tainton, organised Lifting the Myth of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an open discussion event that took place in North Bristol. The event was supported by the Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN’s Bristol branch), and the Time to Change Bristol hub. 

The event was attended by members of the public and local Councillors. Tracy, who lives with a diagnosis of OCD, lead discussions about what the condition means for her, and how media-misinterpretation of the  condition can be harmful. A type of anxiety disorder, OCD is experienced in the form of obsession with intensely negative, repetitive and intrusive thoughts, fear of harm, and/or compulsive patterns of behaviour to reduce the anxiety caused by these thoughts. It is not just about cleanliness or neatness, and many people tend to over-use the term ‘OCD-ish’ without understanding the distressing and debilitating nature of the disorder in its severest form.

The first in a planned series, the session provided a relaxed opportunity to chat in small groups, listen to people with lived experience of OCD with family members and friends who support them. Another aim of the event was to gauge interest in an OCD support / social group, which Tracy is promoting. If you would like more information, please visit BIMHN’s website.

More About IMHN’s Work

The Independent Mental Health Network also campaigns to ensure that local mental health services provide the best possible care and access for patients, with input from service users themselves, and for there to be greater parity of esteem between mental and physical health. If you would like to know more about the Independent Mental Health Network, or the work of their Bristol branch, BIMHN, then please email engagement[@] (taking out the brackets in the email address).

This picture shows Tracy (centre in front of the purple banner) accompanied by other Trustees of IMHN and local Councillors who supported her at the event.

August 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm