Dr Jo Bell
Reader in Psychology and Social work in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull Dr Jo Bell, Reader in Psychology and Social work in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull
I have been involved in suicide research/prevention for 18 years. Much of my experience has been in undertaking in-depth qualitative studies, working with people who have been bereaved by suicide and those who work in services to support survivors. I have published extensively on the subject of suicide and have a particular interest in suicide-related internet use. I am a member of the Humber Coast and Vale Suicide Prevention Steering Group, Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP), National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). I am also a member of the IASP Postvention Special Interest Group and the IASP Suicide and Media Special Interest Group. My work has contributed to World Health Organisation media guidelines for suicide reporting. I present regularly at National and International conferences and events.
Suicide Prevention Lead, Bloom Training and Consultancy
Jo has worked for the NHS and Social Care for 36 years, her most recent post was the suicide Prevention Programme lead for the Humber & North Yorkshire, Health and Care Partnership ICS. She is a qualified Social Worker and has worked in adult mental health throughout her career. She became a senior manager within the NHS, developing the mental health provision within the acute hospitals in Hull and the East Riding. She has recently left the NHS to direct her own training and Consultancy company, Bloom, delivering suicide, mental health and menopause training. She is also a director for the Humber Wellbeing Hub CiC providing a community approach and delivering services to prevent crisis and ultimately suicides.
Humber Coast and Vale Suicide Prevention Steering Group (lived experience lead)
I am a married mum of three adult children. In 2016 our lives were devastatingly and irrevocably changed when our eldest son died by suicide.
Wanting to support others like myself I became involved with the Humber Coast and Vale Suicide Prevention Steering Group as the Lived Experience member of the team. One of the aims was to develop and fund a Bereaved by Suicide Support Group; the service is now provided by Hull & East Yorkshire Mind. As I had already had experience with bereavement support in schools, it seemed only natural for me to become a volunteer. This service was nominated for a HSJ Award in 2022 which was a great achievement for the team.
I was asked to give a keynote speech for a collaborative of Mental Health organisations developing an online training programme for professionals working in suicide prevention. I have also worked on an Oxford university project advisory group developing online bereavement support for those with complicated grief.
Due to my family’s experience with social media after suicide (good and bad), I was invited onto this team.
Dr Chris Westoby
Lecturer in Creative Writing, Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education, University of Hull
My work in Creative Writing is concerned with mental health and well-being. My experience in teaching, research and writing centres around storytelling being a driving force for improved awareness and a sense of ownership over one’s own experiences. I have published on the subjects of suicide, anxiety, OCD, depression and gender inequality. Alongside writing from my own experiences of mental illness, I conduct interview-based research and work with community groups that explore these issues. My research has contributed to World Health Organisation media guidelines for suicide reporting.