Bereavement through suicide

Being bereaved by suicide has been described as ‘grief with the volume turned up’.  Much of what the bereaved feel may be the same as when the person had died suddenly or after a long illness.  Yet people say a suicide seems to intensify the normal responses to loss.  For example, they may feel a sharper guilt over their own actions, a more bitter blame towards someone else who they feel could have prevented the suicide, stronger anger at the person who died or a deeper despair that someone close to them has died this way.

Research shows that in the absence of appropriate support, those who have been bereaved through suicide can often be more vulnerable to go on to experience thoughts of suicide or die by suicide themselves.

Who is this training for?

The training is intended as an introduction to the ‘Help is at Hand’ publication for workers who may be the first professionals in contact with those bereaved by suicide. Our aim is for participants to have a working knowledge of ‘Help is at Hand’ and to encourage sharing of the book with families and loved ones of those who have (or are suspected to have) died by suicide thus improving support for everyone who is affected.

The training would be appropriate for a range of professionals including for example blue light services, hospital staff, funeral directors, bereavement counsellors etc.

What does the training cover?

This is an interactive workshop that will cover how grief and bereavement is often magnified  by death through suicide, which can be quite different and often cause additional difficult emotions such as guilt and shame.   We will consider the importance of language used around suicide and discuss what is helpful and what is not helpful when talking to someone bereaved through suicide.

Working in small groups we will review ‘Help is at Hand’ chapter by chapter and learn about the type of support that may be required in the first few days and the weeks and months that follow, as well as contemplating the needs of children and young people and how to deal with the media.

We are honoured to incorporate a plenary speaker willing to share their lived experience of their bereavement through suicide including the weeks leading up to it and how they coped as a family in the following days, weeks and months.

We will facilitate a discussion on the Coroner’s process and consider issues specific to those affected by suicide and will provide an opportunity to browse our resource table and learn about appropriate places to signpost to, as well as well as reflect on the self-care of participants themselves.

How much does it cost?

This training has received funding from Norfolk County Council, and we are therefore able to deliver the workshop completely free of charge.

Course dates for 2020

Wednesday 26th February, Greenacres Burial Park, Colney Wood Registration from 9am with tea/coffee on arrival.  Course runs from 9.30 – 12.30

Wednesday 6th May 2pm-5pm  – Great Yarmouth

Wednesday 8th July 2pm-5pm – The Assembly Room, King’s Lynn Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 5DQ. Registration from 1.30pm with tea/coffee on arrival.

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