Our Work

The Support after Suicide Partnership works to achieve the Vision that “Everyone bereaved or affected by suicide is offered timely and appropriate support”

We do this through research, signposting, advocacy, and campaigning. We would like to invite you to read about our recent activities:

Building a compelling case for change

We have put together a compelling case for change, based on the need for support, the current situation, and the gaps in support. We know that around 800,000 people a year are affected by suicide and that the effects of suicide are devastating. People bereaved by suicide are at 65% higher risk of attempting to take their lives, and around 9% of those bereaved make a suicide attempt.

Furthermore, suicide costs the national economy over £10bn a year, or about £27m a day.

Based on existing services in England and Northern Ireland, delivering a sustainable, proactive, suicide bereavement service costs £50k – £80k a year. Rolled out across the 109 counties that make up the UK, a nationwide suicide bereavement service may cost £12m. Given the cost of each suicide is £1.67m, a nationwide suicide bereavement service would only have to save 7 lives a year, and would pay for itself in less than a day.

Developing Current Support

Developing Formal Partnerships

We work with Funeral Directors to ensure that support reaches families bereaved by suicide as quickly and often as possible. We have a strong partnership with SAIF, the UK’s alliance of Independent Funeral Directors, providing training through a webinar for SAIF employees and writing for their magazine, SAIFInsight.

We are developing our partnership with Co-op Funeral Care, to work together to promote the work of the SASP and our resources to Co-op Funeral Care branches, and we are exploring how we can work together to develop training for Co-op funeral directors.

Guidelines for Local Support Services

We are working with Anne Embury (national expert, suicide bereavement support) and the National Bereavement Alliance to develop guidance and a framework for anyone wishing to run a peer –to-peer support group, for any type of bereavement. The guidelines aim to give the reader the confidence and skills to develop, run, and evaluate a support group safely and successfully. We are working with (not exhaustively), Cruse Bereavement Care, The Compassionate Friends, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide, Widowed and Young, the Suicide Bereaved Network, If U Care Share, Hospices and Child Bereavement UK. We expect the guidelines to be available for download by Spring 2019.

Help is at Hand

We work with the Department of Health, Public Health England, the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and The Alliance of  Suicide Prevention

Charities to produce Help is at Hand – a resource for support after someone may have died by suicide. It is written for people who have been bereaved or affected by suicide, by people who have been bereaved themselves. You can read a copy on our website, download it, or order a hard copy here. We secure support to supply Help is at Hand annually, and ensure that it is kept up to date and relevant.

Finding the Words

Written to help someone support a person who has been bereaved or affected by suicide, we are a leading promoter of Finding the Words, and we are currently working with Meadows Communications and our members to secure ongoing funding for its printing and dissemination. We believe Finding the Words is part of a key foundation of resources that should be available to anyone who has experienced or works in suicide bereavement.

Online

We have developed this website to offer a network of support to our visitors. You are not alone. We work with over 100 organisations from across the UK to help you find support near to you. To find local support, you can use our interactive map page or you can download a list of support in your region. You can also find lots of information and support in one of the support guides.

Increasing the Capacity of support in the UK

Network model of Support

In Spring 2018, the Support after Suicide Partnership met with a number of organisations in the mental health and bereavement support sectors and discussed potential approaches to achieving the Vision of the Partnership.

It was agreed that we would pursue two routes:

  • the creation of a network model, which would be based on the development of a hub of resources which would be available for anyone considering setting up a service, and locally developed services that offer proactive suicide bereavement support
  • working with the government, local authorities and other change makers to make suicide bereavement support a priority in action plans.
Research

We know that over 6,000 people take their lives in the UK each year, devastating the family, friends and communities they leave behind. But we don’t know the full impact of suicide on UK. How does it effect the everyday person? Jobs? Relationships? Education? Health? We need answers. So, in collaboration with the University of Manchester, we launched a national research project that asked people how suicide has affected their lives. The survey was open for a year, until August 2018. We received over 7000 responses. These responses are now being analysed by the team at the University of Manchester, and we expect to have some results by the beginning of 2019.

Our Members

We are constantly expanding our membership. Our members come from all walks of life and deliver different services. From the British Transport Police and the Samaritans, to small charities, trusts, and individuals, we are forming a diverse expert network across the UK. If you would like to become a member, you can do so through the National Suicide Prevention Alliance. You can complete their membership form and state your interest in becoming a SASP member.