Our Patrons

Hamish Elvidge – Founder and Patron

Hamish founded the Support after Suicide Partnership in 2013, shortly after the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England introduced a new priority of ‘providing better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide’. He chaired the SASP until 2021 and, over this time, it has grown from 10 founding members to over 80. Hamish is Chair of The Matthew Elvidge Trust, which was formed after his son Matthew took his 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 as Finance, IT and Change Director and is a member of various national organisations connected with school and university mental health education, suicide prevention and bereavement support;including 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

Dr Alexandra Pitman is a Senior Lecturer 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 in approaches to preventing suicide. For her PhD, 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 was a member of the Public Health England expert reference group on suicide bereavement and contributed to the 2017 Public Health England publication Support after a suicide: a guide to providing local services. She has been funded by the MRC, NIHR, ESRC, McPin Foundation, and Marie Curie to conduct research into the impact of bereavement.

 Barry McGale

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. Barry has been a leading Suicide Awareness Co-ordinator and has worked all over the world to improve suicide prevention services: he developed the first active postvention service in the United Kingdom and Ireland. His “Derry Model” is widely recognised as the gold standard of service. He is an internationally recognised expert. He was instrumental in bringing ASIST and Safetalk to the UK and Ireland.

Barry was appointed as a member of the Scottish Executive’s Research Expert Group on Suicidal Behaviour and is a former Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Suicidology, a member of the American Association of Suicidology and sits on the Board of The National Suicide Research Foundation (Ireland)

Angela Samata

Angela presented the BBC1 BAFTA nominated and winner of the Mind Media Award, ‘Life After Suicide’ documentary. The film challenged the stigma of suicide, with Angela sharing her experiences and that of her children after her partner took his own life. The documentary was watched worldwide by over 4.5 million viewers.

Angela 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. Angela was named as the Merseyside Woman of the Year 2015.

As a freelance Arts professional for over a decade, Angela works with individual artists and arts organisations. Often her work in Mental Health and the Arts come together and in 2018 she completed a Winston Churchill Fellowship.