Sue Willgoss

Sue Willgoss

Sue is mother to Matthew, Daniel, Jamie and Elliott. Sadly, they lost Daniel at 25 years old when he took his own life in 2018.

The night Daniel died, Sue held his hand and promised him something positive must come from their loss and things must change. Daniel was autistic.

Sue has since been driven by her promise to try to improve understanding, help, support and outcomes for autistic children, young people, adults, and their carers. Daniel’s Serious Incident Review considered that his ‘death is more likely than not to have resulted from problems in care delivery/service provision of the Trust’ – that Trust being Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Sue founded #LiftLoudForDanny, an organisation that supports those with mental health difficulties and their carers.

Sue was asked a few weeks after Daniel’s death if she would work alongside the Trust to help them learn and improve from what had happened. In 2020, Sue was asked if she would come to work for NSFT on a fixed term contract. She now has a permanent position as an Advisor for Suicide Prevention with Lived Experience.

Sue was first introduced to Making Families Count by NSFT when they delivered a conference in Norwich in 2019. She has attended many of the webinars.

She is a Lived Experience Influencer for the National Suicide Prevention Alliance. The NSPA has given her opportunities to present to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Suicide Prevention at Westminster, speak to the Minister for Suicide Prevention and also present at their national conference in 2023 on Autism and Suicide Prevention Strategies. Through her work with NSFT, Sue has attended Learning Sets and Workshops for the National Suicide Prevention Programme and brought the subject of Autism and Suicide Prevention to the agenda.

Sue has since spoken in other areas including Greater Manchester, who have since funded the development of an edition of the Zero Suicide Alliance Suicide Prevention training on helping people recognise and support autistic people who may be suicidal. This is ongoing work which Sue has been involved with and will be launched April 2024 to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day.

Currently, she is also working with Jan Sunman and Stephen Habgood on a joint project with Autism Oxford and Making Families Count on Autism Suicide Prevention with Surrey County Council.

Sue is also chair of trustees for the Suffolk Parent Carer Forum and an Expert by Experience for Norfolk and Waveney ICB through Rethink.

Sue is autistic herself.