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 and was responsible for the implementation of the former Western Health and Social Services Board Suicide Prevention Strategy. Throughout the implementation of the strategy both locally and regionally, he was struck by the lack of services for the bereaved by suicide and as a result, he investigated what postvention services existed globally.
Barry has worked all over the world to improve suicide prevention services; USA, Australia, Cuba and Canada. He trained with Dr Frank Campbell in active postvention and developed the first active postvention service in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Barry has He has delivered presentations on suicide and suicidal behaviour both nationally and internationally. Barry was also instrumental in bringing the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and Safetalk programmes from Canada to the UK and Ireland. He is a Senior Coaching Trainer with Living works Incorporated in Canada and travels globally delivering ASIST Training for Trainers. The current service in the Western Trust is one that has been recognised as a model of best practice and the “Derry Model” has been referred to in parliament as the model that should be replicated throughout the UK.
Barry was appointed as a member of the Scottish Executive’s Research Expert Group on Suicidal Behaviour and was a member of the Northern Ireland Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability subgroup on mental health promotion and suicide prevention. Barry is a former Director of the Board of the Irish Association of Suicidology and a member of the American Association of Suicidology. He was also the Chairperson of Youthlife. In 2013, Barry was appointed to the Board of Members and the Executive Committee of The National Suicide Research Foundation (Ireland).