Post Conference Workshops

Post Conference Workshops

Copthorne, Treaty Room 1, 2 & Rangatira Room

½ day workshops 1:30pm – 6:00pm (includes: 30 minute Afternoon Tea break).  These 1/2 day workshops may be booked as ‘stand alone’ workshops to those unable to attend the full Conference.

 Workshop Registrations:
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Workshop 1. ‘Building Hope in Hopeless Situations with Suicidal Persons’  Workshop Leader: Brian L Mishara, Ph.D., Director, Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End of Life Practices (CRISE); Professor, Psychology Department, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal (Québec), Canada with assistance from: Vanda Scott, OBE, IASP International Advisor, Gondrin, France.

Background and objectives:  People working in suicide prevention may experience difficulties in knowing how to be of help when confronted with suicidal individuals whose life circumstances are presented as utterly without hope for improvement.  These include individuals who have experienced irremediable losses, such as refugees who have been displaced from their homeland, people who suffer from a debilitating terminal illness, and individuals bereaved after the violent death of loved ones.  This workshop will focus on understanding suicide workers’ obstacles to helping in such circumstances and on exploring potential techniques for building and maintaining hope in suicidal individuals who experience hopeless situations. Who should attend: This workshop is open to anyone working in suicide prevention who may be involved in a helping relationship with suicidal persons, face-to-face, over the telephone, and in internet chats or text message exchanges. Format and Content: This is a participatory workshop, in which the presentation of information will be complemented by attendees being invited to engage in exercises in which they will have an opportunity to practice specific techniques.  We will examine obstacles for helpers to feel hopeful with certain suicidal persons, as well as common myths and prejudices associated with suicidal despair.  We will explore strategies to increase hope in the context of interactions with persons at moderate and high risk of suicide, who describe hopeless life circumstances as their most important motivation for wanting to end their lives.  The general approach will be to develop a repertoire of methods of validating the person to increase feelings of self-worth, as well as techniques to change the focus and perceptions of the situation, in the context of a brief crisis intervention in situations that seem to be desperate. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to increase the confidence and competence of suicide prevention workers in helping to increase hope in persons experiencing extreme hopelessness.

Workshop 2. “Introduction to Mindfulness’ Workshop Leader: Stephen Archer is a mindfulness educator and trainer. He is the Director of Mindfulness Training and an associate of Mindfulness Works Background and objectives: Mindfulness is our natural ability to be fully present. It’s the quality of engagement necessary if we want to bring all of our capabilities to the moment. It’s a tool for strengthening the mind and allows us to stay focussed and clear rather than get lost in distractions and stress. Practicing mindfulness is a smart way of working in the information age, and is also good for our health.
Mindfulness training gives a clearer understanding of how our state of mind impacts our performance. It makes use of the inherent ability of the mind and body to rebalance and sustain well-being, and discover positive new perspectives, solutions and responses.
An increasing body of evidence suggests mindfulness practice offers significant benefits to both our health and our working lives. As a life skill it increases happiness and reduces stress. As a professional competency, it allows us to deepen into the power of presence. This brings many immediate practical skills that expand our mental capacities beyond our habitual point of view, while offering greater internal spaciousness. Mindfulness promotes enhanced self-awareness and increased resilience; these qualities combining to strengthen authenticity. Mindfulness assists us to make better decisions, and be centered and grounded, even in a demanding, action orientated role.
Mindfulness is developed through simple focussing-type practices which involve calming the restless mind and relaxing the body. It utilises powerful and practical methods to deepen awareness and bring attention more fully and positively into the present moment. Who should attend: This workshop is open to anyone wishing to Engage with the theory and practice of mindfulness in order to: Develop and embody increased attentiveness, presence and responsiveness; Learn a practical tool to boost mental fitness, sustain health and wellbeing and avoid attention fatigue; Improve overall efficiency in the workplace by increasing focus, learning agility, listening skills and self-awareness; Manage attention and energy more effectively throughout the day; Understand and overcome the hindrances to quality thinking

Workshop 3. “Responding to the impact of suicide – turning the tide by enabling and supporting those affected by suicide”. Internationally recognised for her work in the areas of suicide prevention, postvention and mental health, Jill Fisher has a special interest in the areas of crisis and traumatic loss & grief. Her media background and professional experience in research and national community development has further enhanced her skills in establishing integrated community responses to traumatic events. With active memberships on a number of national and international committees, Jill has also served as a professional advisor or peer reviewer to several national suicide prevention initiatives. Jill has been honoured to receive the 2011 IASP Norman Farberow Award, the 2013 National Suicide Prevention Australia Leadership & Innovation Award and was a 2016 Griffith University Outstanding Health Alumnus of the Year Finalist. This interactive workshop will build on existing knowledge and experience of participants and encourage audience participation to enable respectful understanding and care for those bereaved or impacted by suicide. The workshop will provide a brief history of the suicide postvention field, existing evidence and new research developments about supporting those affected by suicide. Governance and management approaches will be discussed including various postvention models, collaboration with cultural, statutory and existing community services, media liaison and the vital participation of those with lived experience in supporting individuals and communities impacted by suicide. The workshop will also highlight ways to involve local communities to build longer term postvention capacity with participants invited to share their experiences. Providing direct care to those affected by suicide and support to caregivers will be a key feature of this workshop which will conclude with a review of self-care practices and a session of healing and renewal for all participants.