Innovators step up in suicide prevention challenge

Former Premier League footballer and mental health champion Clarke Carlisle will talk openly about his own struggles with depression at the launch of our Innovation Exchange event next month.

With 4,500 people taking their lives each year in England, Eastern AHSN has been calling on innovators to come up with enterprising ways to tackle the complex issues surrounding suicide.

Thirty innovators have expressed an interest in addressing the Suicide Prevention Challenge, and 12 of those will be shortlisted to attend our Innovation Exchange on 8 November in Peterborough. The initial submissions range from technology-based devices to face-to-face peer support and will be reviewed by an advisory panel of clinical experts, innovators and people with lived experience.

At the development event, innovators with the most promising solutions will get the chance to meet representatives from the health and care system who are experiencing the challenges of dealing with suicide directly.

Clarke Carlisle will open the session, talking frankly about the depression which has affected most of his adult life and the mental health struggles which led to him attempt suicide. He is a familiar public face, with a background in radio and TV sport, having commentated across the FA Cup, Europa League and World Cup. He uses his position of influence to break down the stigma surrounding suicide and has appeared on TV and national media, including This Morning

If you are interested in attending the November event, which is open to NHS heads of service, financial directors or procurement leads, please email

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