About Us

Suicide is a global issue, that takes someone’s life every 40 seconds. It’s the biggest killer of young people and men under fifty, yet two-thirds of people who take their own lives do not approach their GP or health professional. We believe it doesn’t have to be this way and that suicide is preventable.

Action To Prevent Suicide CIC is a not-for-profit community interest company whose vision is for a life-affirming world free from suicide. We wish to prevent suicide by helping people recognise and support those at risk, whilst also raising awareness and breaking the stigma. Our shared aim is to achieve this through training, advice, collaboration and guidance.

We’re a member organisation of:

  • The Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance (DTSPA) – an alliance of local organisations dedicated to suicide prevention and after-care for those bereaved by suicide.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA) – an alliance of public, private and voluntary organisations in England who care about suicide prevention and are willing to take individual and collective action to reduce suicide and support those bereaved or affected by suicide.

Meet the team

Chukumeka Maxwell

Founding Director
About Chukes
For the last 9 years, Chukumeka has worked for the NHS as a Community Development Worker, Equality and Diversity Adviser and in health promotion as a trainer and Health Improvement Specialist. He co-authored a chapter in a book aimed at GP’s working with mental health across different cultures and is a registered Social Worker (MBASW). A part-time lecturer at the University of Plymouth, Chukumeka is a suicide prevention trainer specialising in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST) and SafeTalk as developed by LivingWorks.

Matthew Rochford

Communications Director
About Matthew
As a communications lead, Matthew has an extensive background in the voluntary and private sector working for organisations such as Healthwatch Devon and Tai Chi Nation CIC. He’s also trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

An experienced coach, facilitator and marketing consultant, Matthew brings his strategic skills to the team whilst helping with the development of the organisation as a whole.

Emma Flint

Director & Volunteer Co-ordinator
About Emma
With a background in public and third sector management, Emma is passionate about building communities around good causes. Following a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies, she first joined Devon & Cornwall Police as a Communications Officer and later a Force business analyst. Ten years with the NSPCC followed, supporting and managing volunteers in witness support, fundraising, campaigning, and finally ChildLine. In recent years she has developed an interest for online support services, including work for Mumsnet and Rethink Mental Illness. Her commitment to suicide prevention stems from both bereavement by suicide and personal experience with suicidal ideation.

A late-diagnosed “Actually Autistic” single mum to two, she is also an advisor at The Autism Plan, social media co-ordinator for Brain in Hand and Recovery Devon, and group facilitator at Volunteering in Health. In her spare time she loves to crochet, drum, and run by the sea (and if there’s a way to do all three at the same time, she’ll find it!).

Courtney Buckler

Director & LGBTQ Advisor
About Courtney
Courtney is an activist and PhD student. She has experienced many periods of feeling suicidal and various attempts at ending her own life, knowing first-hand how vital it is that communities are equipped with the resources and resilience to take steps towards healing. Courtney recognises that all struggles are interconnected, and acts as the LGBTQIA+ and youth advisor for Action to Prevent Suicide. Courtney’s research focusses on how people with depression make sense of their experiences. Courtney also has a Law Degree and experience offering legal/strategic support to start ups and social enterprises. She is inspired by the grassroots, localised action of Action to prevent Suicide and is trained in both SafeTalk and ASIST.

Jan Pritchard

Trainer and Schools Project Manager
About Jan
Jan has a background as an administrator within the NHS, working in many areas of the health service, most recently in the South Devon & Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group. During her time in the NHS, she studied to become a counsellor and became involved in suicide prevention, going on to become a trainer for ASIST and safeTALK. Jan left the NHS in January this year with a view to becoming more involved in suicide prevention and raising awareness of suicide. She is now the local representative for the Devon and Torbay Suicide Prevention Alliance and is passionate about mental health and wellbeing, especially within children and young people. Jan is also a Papyrus Champion.

Chris Lorimor

Senior Advisor

Lydia Tewkesbury

Communications Assistant
About Lydia
Lydia is an editorial assistant and feature writer whose work has been published in Devon Life magazine and multiple other Archant Life titles. She is currently helping us with our communications and marketing. An experienced social media manager, Lydia works hard to connect people with services they need the most.

Andy Johnson

Senior Advisor
About Andy
I am an experienced former Senior Police Officer with a demonstrated history of achieving results across the Corporate and Public Sector in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. My passion is for helping and protecting vulnerable people and communities. I am a skilled negotiator in Hostage and Crisis Intervention and hold a MSc in criminology focused in Community Safety from the University of Leicester.

Partners, Trainers and Advisers

Dr Isobel Russell

National North and North East
About Isobel
Izzy Russell is a freelance ASIST trainer and regularly forms a happily married training team with Andrew Russell! She has delivered over twenty ASIST courses. Izzy’s background is in teaching, but she has been interested in mental health issues for many years. Her experience of helping children in families who lost someone to suicide was what gave her a passion to save lives from suicide.

Izzy is based in the north-east of England but has trained all over the country with Andrew. As a teacher, she loves to see participants grow and develop over the two days of ASIST and nothing delights her more than hearing that one of her participants has used their skills.

Jenny Pickup

ASIST safetalk Consultant UK wide
About Jenny
Jenny has over 22 years of experience working with suicide prevention and mental health. She is currently working in a dedicated quality assurance role to support an international network of ASIST trainers. Reviewing ASIST trainer reports and participant feedback with a view to offering timely and appropriate support, feedback and encouragement to trainers.

She also delivers Applied Suicide Intervention Training (ASIST) Training for Trainers to participants from all kinds of backgrounds. Offering support to new ASIST trainers.

Alice Newton-Leeming

National North West
About Alison
Alice has over 10 years experience within the Mental Health field, having volunteered for the Samaritans, BeatBullying, worked for Victim Support and PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide. Alice is particularly knowledgeable about prevention of suicide, supporting and empowering vulnerable persons. Alice is also passionate about building skills in the community, by training others in mental health awareness, self harm and suicide prevention.

Alan Dagg

Senior Training Coach – NI
About Alan
Alan is a retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer and has been working with statutory and volunteer organisations in creating & sustaining suicide safer communities for over 30 years. He continues that work in his new hometown of Bangor, Northern Ireland. Alan is involved in coproducing educational programmes and providing innovative, engaging, skills-based training.

Alan is an ASIST Senior Training Coach with LivingWorks Education and has been training formal & informal caregivers in ASIST & safeTALK for the past 10 years. He is also a tutor for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Recovery College and delivers community training in SuicideTALK & TuneUp in Northern Ireland. Alan provides support to the global network of LivingWorks trainers and he also mentors trainers in his home community.

Andrew Rusell

National and North East
About Andrew
North and East England freelance Trainer and Social Care Consultant specialising in Suicide Prevention & Mental Health. A social worker with 38 years experience, many in mental health settings, and still registered to practice.

Now concentrating on delivering great training courses that make a difference and can save lives. He has delivered nearly 200 courses across ASIST, MHFA, safeTALK, suicideTALK, WRAP, so plenty of experience. He mainly delivers ASIST (Applied Suicide intervention skills) Workshops (LivingWorks Silver recognition) but also holds the Gold Award with Mental Health First Aid England and has delivered safeTALK courses. He is based in the North Of England but trains throughout the Country. He describes himself as a suicide prevention ‘activist’ on Twitter (@anr1102).

Nick Brown

National – London SE
About Nick
A freelance Trainer and Consultant specialising in Suicide Prevention & Mental Health, Nick has been delivering ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) Workshops since 2006 and Mental Health First Aid for the last 4 years. He has been a Trainer, Counsellor and Facilitator for over 20 years. His background includes working for multinational companies BT and Philips Electronics as a Human Resources Professional. He worked for 10 years at Workability, a Community Mental Health project in Brighton. In the past years he has delivered Mental Health First courses (including MHFA Lite) to organisations such as Unilever, Ernst & Young, and NHS England, and to a variety of voluntary/community groups.

Joyce Borgs

National – Wales
About Joyce
Joyce has over 11 year’s experience in suicide prevention and has worked in the charity sector for over 20years in a wide variety of roles. She has a background in health and wellbeing with a BA(Hon) Personal and Organisational Development. Joyce is also a qualified coach and is keenly interested in how people and organisations learn and develop. She manages a UK wide advisor service for Parkinson’s UK. Alongside this she also delivers ASIST training for trainers. Originally from the Netherlands Joyce is fluent in English, Dutch and German.

Supporters & Ambassadors

Frances Northrop

About Frances
Frances is a freelance consultant, working with communities as an adviser for the the NEF/Co-ops UK Community Economic Development Programme. She is also a Director of Totnes Community Development Society (an IPS ben com) which exists to hold land and buildings in community ownership for activities which meet the needs of residents. One of these projects is Atmos Totnes, the regeneration of an 8 acre ex brownfield site in Totnes as a mixed use development with truly affordable housing, enterprise and community space.

Suzie Mumme

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