Speakers National Zero Suicide Forum 2017 - Fergus Cumiskey
Fergus Cumiskey

Fergus regards every suicide as preventable until the last moment of life. Fergus believes that if suicide is preventable then health care is responsible for the best possible suicide prevention continuity of care.

As Contact CEO, championing the zero suicide mindset means a commitment to culture change. Early career anti-sectarian activism informs his focus on dissolving myths that perpetuate pessimism on the preventability of suicide, mobilizing a social movement for just culture, driving patient safety through relentless care continuity improvement.

Fergus led Contact’s inaugural independent schools counselling initiative for all NI post-primary schools (2006-09); he pioneered the pilot 24/7 crisis helpline for North and West Belfast (2006-08) which evolved as Lifeline (2008-17), Northern Ireland’s crisis response suicide prevention helpline, funded under license by 4yr competitive tender contract cycles from the NI Public Health Agency (£3.5m budget – 50% of the annual NI Protect Life Suicide Prevention Strategy spend).

Fergus chaired the NI Trauma Recovery Network (2004-2012).