World famous speaker to address public health meeting in Ilkeston

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An award-winning international suicide prevention campaigner is to tell the story that saved his life at an Ilkeston public healthcare meeting.

Jonny Benjamin has been announced as guest speaker for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s annual members meeting (AMM), on Thursday, September 22.

Jonny made headlines around the world for his ‘Find Mike’ campaign – to search for the stranger who talked him out of taking his own life in 2008—and anyone with an interest in health and wellbeing is invited to hear his inspirational tale.

Jonny said: “I’m delighted to be attending the meeting. I know from both personal experience and my work as a mental health campaigner that suicide is preventable.

“However it is something that still remains a taboo in our society. I’m hoping the AMM will help to remove this taboo and get people talking about self-harm and suicide.”

Derbyshire Healthcare is the main provider of the county’s mental health, learning disabilities, and drug and alcohol services, and selected children’s services in Derby.

The AMM gives members of the public an opportunity to get involved and review the trust’s past work and future plans. This year’s event will follow a theme of ‘prevention’—a subject Jonny holds close to his heart.

He said: “Suicide takes 17 lives every single day in the UK and is now the biggest killer of men under 45. It’s about time we stopped ignoring and finally started addressing how we can prevent it. It’s really encouraging to see this happening in Derbyshire.”

The event coincides with the launch of the trust’s new suicide prevention strategy, which will see the organisation redoubling its efforts to reduce incidents of self-harm and suicide, working with partner organisations across Derby and Derbyshire.

The formal meeting, at the Ilkeston Community Hospital’s resource centre on Heanor Road will open at 4.30pm, and include a number of personal stories from Derbyshire Healthcare’s service users, as well as annual reports from trust leaders.

Health groups will run information stalls from 2.30pm.

To book a place at the meeting or submit a question for directors, email or call 01332 623723.