Is what you’re doing empowering or disempowering?

To what extent is what you’re doing empowering — in principle and in practice?

How COVID19 challenged some biases but not others!

There can be individual blind spots and collective blind spots. The bias against online deliberative forums pre-COVID19 was wide and deep, and has not gone away, just been mitigated somewhat.

How one-eyed lobbying for one perceived solution can make people blind to other solutions…and the reasons why we’re NOT advocating for a Citizens’ Assembly on Suicide Prevention!

In recent Twitter exchanges with representatives of The Citizens’ Assembly Lobby, I’ve been told that Citizens’ Assemblies are “the only way” to fix our democracies. When anyone tells you that anything is ‘the only way’, we can be sure that it isn’t, it isn’t democracy, this ‘one way’ is not being fully scrutinised, and there may well be better alternatives that are not being considered by those with the blinkers on!

Time for some healthy self-deliberation!

Some people have clearly thought deeply about Citizens’ Assemblies & Citizens’ Juries, some for many years, even decades in my own case, but the past couple of years — the ‘Deliberative Wave’ — has been characterised often by an uncritical promotion of these methods and an uncritical acceptance of them from those desperate for solutions to poor governance and pressing issues like Climate Emergency. Time to stop, reflect, think, reset!


As promised at the #OTGSP event, on 10 September 2020, the Organising Team has been collating a list of useful sources and resources.

Picture: an attendee at One Team Gov Global event in London 2018 sits knitting — it’s good for mental health!
  • the organising team have researched and sourced,
  • have been recommended by those in our networks, including by Mental Health First Aiders who joined our breakfast takeover on 19 August, and,
  • our contributors and speakers at the World Suicide Prevention Day event have recommended.
  1. General reading and resources
  2. Crisis services and practical support
  3. Suicide prevention organisations
  4. Diversity and inclusion organisations and initiatives
  5. Practical resources, training and shareable video
  6. Suicide bereavement services
  7. Workplace mental health
  8. Resources from outside the UK

We know enough about how to save lives to say it’s time for action — practical action!

Stakeholders often refer to ‘building’ a framework, and ‘building layers of support’ — hence the ‘building’ analogy. We have strong foundations as a (global, national, and local) ‘zero suicide community’, taking both top-down leadership approaches (eg what can government do, and what do we want government to do?) and ground-up leadership (what can we do, in many cases independent of government?). We’ve then identified and developed four key layers to help us build strong sustainable infrastructure, purpose-designed to save lives.


Routes to a community (your community) without suicide!

Stakeholders often referred to ‘building’ a framework, and ‘building layers of support’ so the ‘building’ analogy was born. We have strong foundations as a (global, national, and local) ‘zero suicide community’, taking both top-down leadership approaches (eg what can government do, and what do we want government to do?) and ground-up leadership (what can we do, in many cases independent of government?). We then identified and developed four key layers to help us build strong sustainable infrastructure, purpose-designed to save lives.


On 10 September One Team Gov will be running an event on the theme of Suicide Prevention, find out about our first set of collaborators here

If you’re not familiar with OneTeamGov, check it out — it’s a talented, friendly network! Photo: lanyards from the One Team Gov Global Unconference in London, July 2018
  • provide some context for the event,
  • highlight some of our excellent Contributors,
  • emphasise how everyone can help to ‘make a difference’ in preventing suicides, and,
  • explain why you should click through to register for the event…without delay! [Link below]

Some background


Have you checked your support network recently? Do you need some support?


The beautiful, historic City of York — so many phases of evolution from the Romans, the Vikings, the Merchant Adventurers…through the deliberative and participative democracy revolution, 1989–1991…and now another revolution underway 2020–2021 with the goal of 100% Digital City.

Paul Vittles

Researcher (FMRS), marketer (FAMI), consultant, coach & counsellor who helps people and organisations with transformational change and sustainable success.

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