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Dying to Belong - Suicide, Rites of Passage and Community.

  • Transition Town Forres 1 Bogton Road Forres, Scotland, IV36 1EP United Kingdom (map)

Presentation followed by Q & A / Discussion

This presentation seeks to engage and educate communities about suicide and to explore what might be happening for a suicidal person beneath the surface of their concealed suffering. 

What might bring a person to a place in life where the best choice they perceive is death? And, perhaps more significantly, what might individuals and communities do, not just to reduce or even eliminate the suicide of their precious people but also build the understanding, skills and enduring resilience necessary to lead more fulfilled lives along side each other?

To bring this presentation to life I’ll be drawing on various influences gleaned over 21 years working as a psychotherapist, facilitator and consultant, and specifically from 10 years working with communities of men and boys age 11 to 75 as the founder and executive director of Journeyman UK, an organisation that sought to build a culture of peer mentoring and meaningful rites of passage for young men and their communities.

I don’t use powerpoint slides preferring instead to draw upon experience and the personal stories of those willing to share and ask questions.

Each and every suicide is a devastating tragedy; a tragedy for the loved ones often left with unanswerable questions in addition to the ordeal of their grief and the ongoing courageous struggle to rebuild their lives. Suicide is also a tragedy for the community that loses one of its members in this way, perhaps especially so if it was a young person who was lost. This is because suicide in young people can and does send a deep psychological shock wave through the peer group of the victim which triggers further suicides in others who may be vulnerable.  

This event is open to anyone seeking to learn about this most difficult topic. It will be of particular interest to those living and working in close proximity to communities of young people and parents of pre-adolescents and adolescents boys and girls. 

The largest cause of death in UK men under the age of 55 is suicide. 

Each year in the UK 4380 men take their lives. That's 372 each month, 84 every week and 12 each and every day.

730 women take their lives each year. That’s 62 UK female suicides each month and 2 each and every day. 

75% of suicide victims are male. 

75% of suicides are by people who have not sought help or previously shown any symptoms of mental illness.

For each fatality there are approximately 16 further attempts. The number of unreported suicide attempts is thought to be far higher still. 

Suicidal thoughts occur in about 70% of the population.  

In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased 60% around the globe. 

Around the world someone takes their own life every 40 seconds. 

Suicide is one of the top three causes of death in those aged between 15 to 44 and the second largest killer of children and young adults between 10 and 24 years of age. 

Those emotionally close to a victim of suicide are 10 times more likely of committing suicide.  

The financial cost of each suicide in the UK is £1.7 million. 

Entry by donation between £5 and £10pp 

The format can be adapted for public and professional audiences and varying in duration. 


NB - Hi Everyone, 

Thank you for your interest in this event. The response has been much larger than expected and having checked with the venue we’ve decided a comfortable number would be 60.

This will allow us to retain an intimate feel and still be safe and able to move about easily. 

I know Facebook is at best a very vague indicator or what will actually happen but if you are 90% sure you’re coming please RSVP / indicate so. 

Refreshments will be available on the evening. Car sharing recommended. 

Those who’ve emailed asking for further details - I’ll be recording audio of the presentation and will make that available via my mailing list. You can register via my website (which I apologise is a little hectic being half way rewritten) and get the updates and news of further related events. 

And to anyone who is interested in coming but concerned about it being ‘too public’ I invite you to please drop me a line and say hi, or come and introduce yourself before we start. 

We will be starting at 7 and finished in good time by 930. 

Warm regards,