Talking Benches, Guernsey Mind and Guernsey Samaritans are organising a significant two-day event at Les Cotils, Guernsey on the 7th and 8th March to support those affected by suicide. 

This event aims to open a dialogue about the crucial topic of suicide, featuring guest speakers from Suicide Bereavement UK. 

The first day of the event on Thursday 7 March is dedicated to a conference which will include a series of discussions and presentations

The second day will see a shift in focus from discussion to practical training.

Anyone who has been affected by suicide is welcome and can choose to attend the conference, Suicide First Aid training or both. 

We believe that through open dialogue, education, and training, we can make significant strides in suicide prevention and support for those affected by suicide

Sarah Bamford – Talking Benches

Our Speakers

We are honoured to have a panel of experts who are not only well-versed in their respective fields, but have also shown immense dedication to the cause of suicide prevention and bereavement support.

Dr Sharon McDonnell

Dr Sharon McDonnell is an esteemed specialist in suicide bereavement research. Her expertise in the field is recognised internationally, and she continues to make significant contributions to our understanding of this critical area.

Angela Samata

Angela Samata serves as a Lived-Experience Advisor, Trainer, and Creative Consultant at Suicide Bereavement UK. Her personal experiences have informed her work, making her an invaluable source of insight and guidance.

Liz Koole

Liz Koole, an experienced social worker, has dedicated her career to working with children and families following bereavement by suicide. Her compassionate approach and specialised knowledge make her a vital asset to our panel.

Conference Day

Thursday 7th March 9am-4pm

The first day of the event is dedicated to a conference which will include a series of discussions and presentations led by experts in the field. It will culminate in a question and answer panel session, providing an opportunity for participants to engage with the speakers and delve deeper into the subjects discussed.


  • Registration
  • Welcome by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor
  • Dr Sharon McDonnell Suicide: Breaking the silence for those bereaved by suicide
  • Coffee
  • Angela Samata Lived Experience: How and why should we use it
  • Buffet lunch
  • Liz Koole What about us? Supporting children and young people after a suicide
  • Panel Q&A Session
  • Closing speech

Please note, timings and order are subject to change

There will be a cost of £20 to attend the conference.


Training Day


Waiting list available

Friday 8th March 9.30am-1pm

Suicide First Aid Lite

Guernsey Mind will be running Suicide First Aid Lite training. This 3.5 hour session is open to anyone to attend.

The course will help participants spot the early signs that someone may be struggling and build confidence to apply a ‘first aid approach’ to avoid a crisis and help someone with thoughts of suicide stay safe and stay alive.

There will be a cost of £40 to attend this training.

The cost for this course will be subsidised by Guernsey Mind. Limited spaces available.



Training Day

Friday 8th March

Responding to Suicide

Suicide Bereavement UK will deliver Responding to Suicide (RTS) training to emergency services personnel. The workshop will help increase skills and confidence when responding to those bereaved by suicide.

The content is:

  • Evidence based
  • Trauma informed
  • Co-produced with emergency services personnel
  • Recognises and addresses personal impact
  • Provides tools, techniques and practical information

Places have been reserved for all emergency services.