Preventing Suicide Using The Solution Focused Approach

John Henden is an international trainer, author and therapist from the UK. Here for a short time, don’t miss this opportunity, book a location near you!


Over 600 New Zealanders take their lives every year, with countless more experiencing suicidal ideas or acting on these thoughts in the form of non-fatal suicide attempts.

Interestingly, studies have shown that around 60% of those who die by suicide, speak to a helping professional in the weeks prior to their death. All human services professionals need a framework for assessing and intervening with suicidal clients, to ensure that these opportunities for intervention are utilized for the maximum benefit of their at-risk clients.

About the workshops
John Henden presents this series of one or two-day workshops, on Preventing Suicide Using the Solution Focused approach – a unique approach to working with the suicidal person which reduces both suicidal thinking, and the sense of burden on the helper.

These workshops specifically aim to reduce suicide rates amongst those contemplating suicide and to teach the basic tools and techniques of the solution-focused approach to those working with suicidal persons, or those directly supporting suicidal persons. They also provide tools and skills, that can be implemented immediately, that reduce the sense of burden on those supporting the suicidal person.

At the conclusion of the workshops, attendees will:

  • Have a good grasp of the basic concepts of the solution focused approaches to the suicidal person.
  • Be confident enough to apply at least three of the solution focused skills learnt, with immediate effect, into their current working practice.
  • Feel more comfortable in their dealings with people who want to talk about suicide or self harm as an option for dealing with their difficulties.
  • Appreciate the value and importance of optimism within themselves, even when dealing with the most tragic of human circumstances confronting them.

Who Should Attend

Front-line staff working in social services, health, education and law enforcement: Key Workers, Unit Managers, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychiatrists RTLB, Teachers, General Practitioners, Therapists, Emergency Room staff, Telephone Helpline staff, Residential Care Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Practicing Counselors, Police and Probation Officers.

Also, volunteers, and those who have the lived-experience of supporting Whanau who are suicidal, and anyone who wants to learn simple yet effective tools to help those at risk.

One Day Workshop – Hawke’s Bay / Palmerston North / Te Puke / Hamilton / Auckland

*Please note: the Whanganui workshop is no longer going ahead – ref Palmerston North.

The one-day workshops will focus on the practical side of preventing suicide using this approach. There will be some powerful solution-focused techniques demonstrated, followed by interactive role play by participants.

John will cover:

  • How we can tell whether someone is suicidal, rather than simply depressed.
  • Empathy and Deep empathy.
  • The 3 core conditions for effective communication and rapid rapport building.
  • Questions to elicit suicidal ideation.
  • Sample questions to ask once suicidal ideation has been established.
  • Effective Solution Focused techniques in suicide prevention.
  • 10 key points to cover in the first session.
  • Generating other possibilities, alongside the suicide option, as potential solutions to difficulties.
  • ‘Going with’ the suicidal person.
  • Being as effective as possible.
  • Graveside Scenario.
  • Ending a session positively and constructively.

He will demonstrate practical examples of the above, and in addition, cover dealing with the trauma around suicide.

Two Day Workshop – Wellington, 19 & 20 February 2018

This is a more comprehensive workshop covering in more detail the content presented at the one-day workshops.

The goals of the two-day workshop are that at completion participants will be able to: 

  • Apply at least 10 of the basic SFBT tools and techniques to their work with the suicidal.
  • Acknowledge their existing knowledge and skill base when working with suicidal SUs and be keen to enhance that effectiveness.
  • Have a good grasp of the basic concepts of the SF approach to the person who expresses suicidal ideas.
  • Be confident enough to apply to good effect, at least 4 of the specialised SF techniques, in their work with the suicidal.
  • Feel more comfortable in their dealings generally with people who want to talk about suicide or self-harm as an option for dealing with their difficulties.
  • Know when, from a risk assessment perspective, to discuss the case and/or receive supervision from appropriate professional colleagues and/or managers.
  • Appreciate the value and importance of hope and optimism within themselves, even when dealing with the most tragic of human circumstances confronting them.

Further Details

We understand that suicide impacts every community and that many groups are wanting to work more effectively in this area. We suggest that you contact your local gaming trusts, community trusts or even PHO / DHB should you require funding support to attend.

Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea are included.

Resources will be emailed to participants prior to the workshop.

*Please note: Due to the content covered at these events, there is an R18 age restriction.

About the presenter:

John Henden has a background in psychology, is a qualified counselor and a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. For over 20 years he worked within the NHS both as a clinician and in management roles before establishing his training and consultancy firm. He regularly presents on a range of solution focused topics in different international forums, and has received particular acclaim for his work on solution focused suicide prevention and intervention.

John is an author, and his best-selling book ‘Preventing Suicide: The Solution Focused Approach‘, is now into its second edition.

His energetic and captivating presentation style, utilizing multiple teaching mediums, ensures delegates will leave equipped to incorporate this ground breaking intervention model immediately, into their work with at-risk people.

This training will be of benefit to all who come into contact with suicidal people regardless of their agency setting.

Dates & Locations

Hawke’s Bay – Friday, 16 February 2018 – Ellwood Function Centre, Hastings

Wellington – 2 Day Workshop only – Monday, 19 & Tuesday, 20 February 2018 – The Wellington Club, Wellington

Palmerston North – Friday, 23 February 2018 – Palmerston North Hospital, Palmerston North

Te Puke – Monday, 26 February 2018 – The Orchard, Te Puke

Hamilton – Wednesday, 28 February 2018 – The Western Community Centre, Hamilton

Auckland – Thursday, 1 March 2018 – Windsor Park Baptist Church, North Shore Auckland

*Please note: the Whanganui workshop previously advertised has been cancelled.


Hawke’s Bay – One Day Workshop – $130.00pp

Wellington – Two Day Workshop – $250.00 pp + GST (covering both days)

Palmerston North / Te Puke / Hamilton / Auckland – One Day Workshops – $140.00 pp + GST

Payment methods

Credit card or request an invoice.

Registration process

There are three easy steps in the online booking process. You will receive an automated confirmation email upon successful completion of registration. If you have any issues or questions about your booking, please contact Faye Johnson on 06 878 3456 or email:

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For further details, please contact:
Faye Johnson at or
Phone: 06 878 3456