Patrons

Hamish Elvidge

Founder and Patron

Hamish founded the SASP in 2013. He chaired the Partnership until 2021 and, over this time, it has grown from the initial 10 members to over 80. He founded our close collaboration with NHS England to deliver suicide bereavement support in every area of England, by 2024. Hamish is Chair of The Matthew Elvidge Trust, which was formed after his son Matthew took his own life in 2009. The Trust aims to increase everyone’s understanding of the importance of good mental health, how to keep well… and ensure that people who need help receive the right support quickly. Hamish had a 30 career at J Sainsbury PLC and is a member of various national organisations connected with school and university mental health education, suicide prevention and bereavement support. These include the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, the City Mental Health Alliance Advisory Board, the Mental Health in Higher Education Advisory Group and the Schools’ Wellbeing Partnership.

Dr Alexandra Pitman

Patron

Dr Alexandra Pitman is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry in the UCL Division of Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests are in the epidemiology of suicide and self-harm, and preventing suicide. She conducted a national survey of people bereaved by suicide, which found that people bereaved by suicide are at greater risk of suicide attempt than people bereaved by other sudden deaths, and significantly more likely to perceive stigma and a lack of informal support. She co-leads the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health research network. She was a member of PHE's Expert Reference Group on suicide bereavement and contributed to the 2017 PHE publication 'Support after a suicide: a guide to providing local services.' She has been widely funded to conduct research into the impact of bereavement.  

Barry McGale

Patron

Barry is a Cognitive Therapist and is the 2016 winner of the American Association of Suicidology,  Roger J Tierney Award for services in suicide prevention. He was the Suicide Awareness Co-ordinator in the Western Health & Social Care Trust. Barry has worked globally to improve suicide prevention services. He was instrumental in bringing the ASIST and Safetalk programmes to the UK and Ireland. He is a Senior Coaching Trainer with Living Works Incorporated and delivers ASIST Training for Trainers. The current service in the Western Trust has been recognised as a model that should be replicated throughout the UK. Barry is a member of the Scottish Executive’s Research Expert Group on Suicidal Behaviour, a former Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Suicidology, and a member of the American Association of Suicidology. He was the Chairperson of Youthlife. In 2013, Barry was appointed to the Executive Committee of The National Suicide Research Foundation (Ireland).

Angela Samata

Patron

Angela presented the BBC1 BAFTA nominated and winner of the Mind Media Award for Best Factual TV documentary, ‘Life After Suicide’. The film challenged the stigma of suicide, with Angela sharing her experiences and that of her children after her partner took his own life 14 years ago. The documentary was reshown as part of the BBC’s Mental Health Season #InTheMind and was watched worldwide by over 4.5 million viewers. Angela is uniquely qualified to represent the views of those bereaved by suicide and was for 4 years as Chair and is now Ambassador, of the Survivors of the Bereaved by Suicide. Under her Chairmanship the number of support groups doubled, offering support to over 7,000 people bereaved by suicide each year. Angela is also an invited attendee of the All-Party Parliamentary Group looking at Suicide Prevention in England and Wales. Her charity work, together with the making of the documentary was recognised as Angela was named as the Merseyside Woman of the Year 2015. As a freelance Arts professional for over a decade, Angela continues to work with individual artists and arts organisations, while also speaking publicly about mental health issues. Often her work in Mental Health and the Arts come together and in 2018 she will complete a Winston Churchill Fellowship looking at both disciplines.

Leadership Team

Fergus Crow

Interim Chair

Fergus is the CEO of Winston’s Wish and joined as Chief Executive in October 2015. He has held several roles in education and children’s services. Fergus believes passionately that with the right support at the right time children who have been bereaved can learn to live with their grief, adjust to the changes that the death of someone close to them inevitably brings, and go on to lead full and flourishing lives. This belief stems not only from his professional understanding but also from his own experience of losing his father to cancer when Fergus was 19.

Sangeeta Mahajan

Sangeeta is a Trustee of Papyrus, the national charity for the prevention of young suicide, Co-chair of Suicide Prevention, Thrive LDN and a Consultant Anaesthetist at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London. She advocates for and supports those bereaved by suicide. Her personal experience of bereavement by suicide has made her passionate about preventing such tragic deaths. She works towards breaking the stigma that surrounds mental illness and death by suicide. She is especially interested in working towards creating more awareness in minority communities.

Penny Fosten

Penny has led the NSPA for over 2 years, in which time she has overseen the development and launch of their Resources Hub, grown organisational and individual membership by over 100% and worked with Public Health England to refresh their Suicide Prevention Planning Guidance for Local Authorities. Before joining the NSPA she had ten years’ experience of working to improve well-being, including establishing a ‘reading for well-being’ programme in London – helping to reduce loneliness, build confidence and connection, and enhance people’s understanding of themselves and others. Previously, Penny spent five years volunteering within suicide prevention.

Halani Foulsham

Halani Foulsham is the founder of Thought Climber CIC and the creator of the After Journal. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide where she has served on the board for 3.5 years. Halani specialises in charity management and governance. Her day-to-day role focuses on income generation and communications at a London based homelessness charity. Outside of her passion for the charity sector, she loves open water swimming and horticulture.

Lisa Lund

Lisa Lund has over 20+ years experience working in both corporate and not-for-profit environments, from launching start-ups and charitable organisations to nurturing mature businesses. Lisa founded the National Bereavement Service in 2014, which shares legal knowledge and expertise, providing individuals with unbiased guidance to make the right decisions at times of grief and despair. The NBS also works with a variety of companies and charities and provides employee and customer benefit packages connected with bereavement, such as legal services, funeral planning and dedicated support and counselling helplines.

Jacqui Morrissey

Jacqui has been the Assistant Director of Research & Influencing at Samaritans for over 6 years. Before joining the world of suicide prevention, she worked in partnerships and operations for Age UK. Jacqui believes that fewer people should die by suicide, and has worked with her team to promote positive messaging to people, especially through social media platforms.

Head Office

Sarah Bates

Executive Lead

Since taking up post in 2016, Sarah has worked to raise awareness of the need for suicide bereavement support, increase the capacity of support and access to resources, and has driven the programme of work with the NHS to provide sucide bereavement support in every area of the country. Sarah is a Winston Churchill Fellow, and completed her Fellowship in Japan and Hong Kong in 2018. She has a background in psychology (MA Hons) and neuroscience (PhD), and over 15 years’ experience of working in service development, mental health, and supporting children and young people.

Holly Tolson

Project Manager

Holly started working with the SASP following a summer interneship with us, for which she was awarded ‘Micro-placement student of the year, 2018’ by City University, London. Holly works with our Members and Partners; co-ordinating our network across the UK, developing formal partnerships with services on the bereavement pathway, and ensuring our Members are informed and involved. She is due to complete her undergraduate degree in Psychology (BSc) in the summer of 2020.

Sue Christie

Implementation Manager

Sue joined the team in January 2020, bringing with her over 30 years' experience in Mental Health with NHS England. Sue is a certified Mental Health Social Worker, and has experience of working across local authorities, NHS Trusts, and the Department of Health. Sue leads our work with NHS England to provide suicide bereavement support in every area of the country; co-ordinating our Central Hub, driving the development of services, and providing bespoke support to STPs.

Our Aims and Vision

The Support After Suicide Partnership strives to provide individuals who have been bereaved by suicide with appropriate and timely support. We are a special interest group of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance who focuses on supporting those bereaved or affected by suicide. SASP works as a collaborative network to provide effective advocation, signposting and research within suicide bereavement in order to ensure bereaved individuals are equipped with the support and resources they need.

Our Vision

Everyone bereaved or affected by suicide is offered timely and appropriate support