The World’s biggest ever Suicide and Wellness Conference and Concert event, the ‘Festival of Life and Death’ is being organized for Saturday 8th September 2018, in Leicester, UK.
The main conference – which will be free or donation-only – will be in Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre.
Other venues will offer related activities and other locations anywhere are invited to create their own FoLaD events.
Please register your details and interests (Participate) and also subscribe: to receive updates, to offer to speak/perform/help/become a FoLaD venue, city, etc.
Other locations and cities (anywhere) are encouraged to organize and run their own Festival of Life and Death events, ideally on the same 8th Sept 2018 date, using the FoLaD principles. (We will guide/help you.. please ask if you want to do this.)
Thank you to everyone who spoke, performed and attended.
Here is a video news report of the FoLaD Leicester Launch by the journalism department of Coventry University. (The FoLaD item is about 2mins 40 seconds into the video. Thanks to Coventry University journalism department for their interest and professionalism in covering our launch.)
The Festival of Life and Death is not-for-profit, with very minimal infrastructure, and is open to involvement and help from anyone.
This 2018 FoLaD will be a very dynamic event – lots and lots of speakers – in person at the theatre; some streamed in from around the world, and the entire event will be streamed out globally for free.
IMPORTANTLY…. We are already building this event around and upwards from ‘ordinary amazing people’…
The Festival of Life and Death will offer encouragement, opportunity, a platform, and a supportive audience – to all ‘ordinary amazing people’ who have a story to tell, experiences to share, ideas to advance – even if you just want to speak for two minutes (and in any case the maximum might be 10 minutes) – plus leading experts and celebrity speakers, and brilliant performers of music, poetry, and other moving, meaningful, uplifting artists.
Those of us who’ve experienced and continue to survive and/or thrive through mental challenges – of all sorts – are able to give the greatest help and inspiration to others, and also give the greatest insights for those who seek to improve understanding, awareness, preventions and treatments, and organizational/educational governance in all areas of mental health.
In addition to musical acts at the Haymarket Theatre conference venue, a major concert is planned for the evening of the conference event, at a bigger Leicester venue.
We anticipate that the main conference event will be from about 10am to 6pm, comprising short talks (ordinary amazing people, experts, etc) interspersed with music and poetry etc (singer-songwriters, performance poets, choirs, comedians, etc). After 6pm the main conference event at the Haymarket Theatre will offer music and other entertainment until late. As already stated a larger separate music concert is planned at a different Leicester venue, and this will be paid-for tickets, to raise money for relevant charities.
Launch, publicity and information – opportunity to become involved…
We plan initially three introductory ‘taster’ pre-launch evening events – Leicester (8th Nov 2017), London and Leeds, this Autumn – speakers, music, discussion, opportunity to contribute and become involved. If you want to host one of these please get in touch – and especially if you are in another part of the UK or wider world, and/or if you wish to stage your own FoLaD event.
Besides the need to fund itself via ticket sales, the big evening concert aims to raise awareness of suicide, mental health, and wellness concepts, and money for relevant charitable causes.
You will see here and in various media a clearer outline as it emerges. You can contact us to receive information and updates.
We are now open for conference registrations, to invite involvement from helpers, supporters, experts, speakers, performers, charities, institutions, groups, and centres of excellence/knowledge for suicide and related mental health/wellness.
The conference event is free or donation-only to attend.
The Festival of Life and Death event is not-for-profit, and all donations received will be given to relevant charities, as will ‘profits’ from the larger evening concert.
The conference event will be built around suicide awareness, extending as much as possible to wellness and all aspects of mental health, for example:
- suicide and suicide bereavement,
- depression and anxiety,
- death and bereavement,
- diet, exercise, sleep,
- social engagement, talking and listening,
- mindfulness, forgiveness, authenticity,
- life-change and life-stages,
- parenting/young people,
- medication, natural remedies,
- creative arts/activities,
- equine/animal therapies
- and especially music, song, poetry, art, dance…
- and anything that is part of wellness and a help for suicidal illness, and mental health generally.
The event name ‘Festival of Life and Death’ aptly describes its broad coverage and relevance.
N.B. We appreciate that this event warrants great sensitivity and care. There will be provision of safe spaces and appropriate support for people who might want this.
Suicide awareness – a primary purpose – is the tip of a vast iceberg of challenges and opportunities in mental health and wellness, globally, especially ironically in the ‘developed’ affluent world, and increasingly in the developing world, which can perhaps learn valuable lessons from mistakes elsewhere.
Suicide results from any and every aspect of mental illness, and often a mixture of several: from work stress to money worries; from bereavement and all forms of depression, to eating disorders and addictions; from abuse and injury and disease, to injustice and homelessness; from crop failure and bullying, to social exclusion and divorce. Anything. And nobody is immune. And the cost to societies everywhere is incalculable.
Around the world, every 30-40 seconds, a fellow human-being kills himself or herself.
In the UK, and in many other parts of the world, suicide (i.e., poor mental health), kills four times as many people as road traffic accidents.
Suicide is very controversial, and this makes the subject a very big lever with which to open and explore and improve how we think about, and improve individual and societal approaches to mental health – or life, because that’s what mental health is – life – the condition of being alive and human.
Given the taboos we are addressing – suicide, death, bereavement, etc – we should be able to build quite a lot of pressure for change, as well as all the good that can come from such a gathering.
We are keen to involve everyone and anyone – globally – individual people of all kinds, who are affected and interested for all reasons in mental health and wellness, together with the corporate sector, the state sector and state services – health and education particularly – and governments and authorities of all sorts. Great improvements can be made.
If you want to help in any way, or receive further information, please get in touch, and/or register your interest, enquiry, or what you’d like to suggest or offer, using the Participate registration page.
Incidentally the main conference venue, Leicester’s wonderful Haymarket Theatre complex, is re-opening in 2017/18 as an extraordinary state-of-the art venue and training centre, as part of a major Leicester city re-development.
The Festival of Life and Death was instigated by Alan Chapman, founder of the free work/life learning website Businessballs.com, with the vital help of some truly brilliant people. Here is more about FoLaD and its reasons.
FoLaD launch events
Launch events for the Festival of Life and Death are designed to offer:
- meeting and discussion for people interested in suicide, mental health and wellness
- speakers and performers who understand and are passionate about the subjects
- a taste of what the FoLaD event will be, with Q&A and feedback/suggestions welcome
- involvement in whatever ways people want
- and help/listening if required (Samaritans volunteers are attending the Leicester launch)
Here is the outline for the first launch event, at Leicester, 6-8pm, 8th November 2017..
Leicester launch of the Festival of Life and Death (FoLaD)
Launch: 6-8pm Wed 8th November 2017, LCB Depot, Leicester
Thanks for joining us for talks, live music/poetry, Q&A and involvement in this groundbreaking event on Sat 8th September 2018 at Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre and other participating venues.
The Leicester launch featured:
- Yvette Greenway and Michael Mansfield QC (founders, SOS – Silence Of Suicide)
- Claire Evans – Mindfulness expert and also representing Peter Hirst – founder of rethinkyourmind and Moving InWards
- Matthew Wakely – Leicestershire NHS Partnership Trust / RUOK campaign
- Sallie Varnam – Arts & Health Development Consultant
- Lydia Towsey – Performance poetry (LPT, WORD!)
- Live Music from David Parkin, Refuge and LALU (Look A Ladies Ukuele)
Every year around the world over a million people take their own lives. A suicide every 30-40 seconds. That’s more deaths than wars, more than murders and, in many nations – including the UK – more than four times the amount of road traffic deaths. And it’s rising. For every suicide there are 20 attempts. That’s over a billion people around the world thinking about killing themselves in any year.
Suicide is the most dangerous and taboo tip of the mental health iceberg. Still we ignore it and pretend it doesn’t happen to ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ people. But it does. Suicides are preventable. It starts by raising awareness. Wanting change. Talking about it. Demanding change and attention. We’d love you to join us.
Thanks (and links) to speakers/performers at the Leicester 8th Nov 2017 launch – all extraordinary people with a passion for various aspects of wellness and mental health:
Michael Mansfield QC & Yvette Greenway – https://www.sossilenceofsuicide.org
Matthew Wakely – http://ruoktoday.co.uk
Lydia Towsey – https://secretagentartist.wordpress.com –
David Parkin – https://davidparkin.org
LALU (Look A Ladies Ukuele) – https://projectlalu.wordpress.com –
Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org – volunteers kindly attended the launch