Public Health England: Support after Suicide – Key to Suicide Prevention

Below is a blog article by Public Health England.

Suicide has a devastating impact on families, friends, communities and work colleagues.

Those bereaved by a suicide are at increased risk of mental health and emotional problems so receiving the right support is essential.

The impact of suicide

Sadly, in 2016 alone, 4575 people died by suicide.   Depending on the situation of the individual, estimates vary on how many people are affected by each suicide – a recent study showed this could be as high as 135 people exposed.

Taking a very conservative estimate of 10 people directly affected, this gives a minimum total of almost 50,000 people annually.  That’s potentially 50,000 people in need of some level of support, whether it’s having someone to talk to, taking a break from work, or simply needing a way to mentally process what has happened with support to do so.

In January 2017, the Prime Minister announced a strengthened cross government suicide prevention strategy, which set out a key objective to improve responses to bereavement by suicide and support services.  In further recognition of the problem the Health Select Committee on Suicide Prevention also recommended services to support people who are vulnerable to suicide.

For PHE – this is a priority area of work and our suicide prevention planning guidance makes it clear that providing support after suicide should be a priority for all local areas to assist in real time and at ground level.

Available resources for the community

Developing support services will help to ensure that people receive Help is at Hand – a practical and emotional guide for anyone affected by a suicide or a suspected suicide.

To help deliver  local support, we have worked with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and Support after Suicide to develop ‘Support after a suicide: A guide to providing local services’ – a practical guide for commissioners to understand why and how they can deliver support after suicide in their local areas.

We have also worked together to develop two further resources to support local areas called Support after a suicide: Developing and delivering local bereavement support services and ‘Support after a suicide: Evaluating local bereavement support services’.

These include best practice examples across England such as Amparo, The Tomorrow Project and If U Care Share, who provide outreach to people bereaved by suicide by working with coroners and/or the police within days of receiving the referral and offer a wide range of support.

A new publication ‘Finding the Words’ has also been published, which provides help to support someone bereaved and affected by suicide.

To read the full blog article by Public Health England, please visit the following link…