The aim of this project is to better understand bereavement by suicide among LGBTQ+ communities, with a specific focus on how people find support, how useful it is and what could be improved.
The research aims guide how services can become more accessible and better informed about the needs of LGBTQ+ people who have been bereaved by suicide.
The study is guided by an advisory panel of LGBTQ+ people with lived experience of suicide.
Crossland & Jones LGBTQ Community Consultancy is a team of two, Helen Jones and Casey Crossland, see www.crosslandjones.lgbt for more information. Helen and Casey are experienced LGBTQ mental health practitioners who have worked with people bereaved by suicide and worked in LGBTQ+ mental health for many years.
The researchers will interview participants over the phone, video conferencing and where possible, in-person interviews. These interviews will be semi-structured and cover themes relating to:
- the impact that bereavement by suicide has had on the person
- their experiences of seeking support following bereavement
- sources of help and support
- support the individual might have benefitted from that was not available
- their suggestions for things that may help others in similar circumstances
Who we want to speak to
We want to recruit 20 people to take part in interviews. We will send out the invitation to SASP’s membership, the researchers’ and SASP’s organisational networks, and individual connections.
We want to include any LGBTQ+ person who has experienced bereavement by suicide, however long ago and whatever the relationship to the person who died. This may include family members, friends, acquaintances and/or LGBTQ+ community figures.
At the point that prospective participants contact us we will we will offer to talk to them by phone to go through the purpose of the study, the process of taking part, and answer any questions they may have.
The researchers will speak to potential participants and carry out initial screening and risk assessment, including checking with the person that they understand the potential risks of taking part and their current level of mental health. We will discuss what support they have and that they are aware of support options available to them. We may suggest to the potential participant that they do not take part if there is risk of acute or suicidal distress or if they have been bereaved within the last 6 months.
If both the researcher and prospective participant are then happy to proceed, we will send people Participant Information sheets, consent forms, personal information sheets and screening surveys in accordance with their preferred method of communication. The information included in the participant information sheet includes:
- a background as to why the research is being carried out
- what will happen next if they agree to proceed
- the personal information we will take from them
- assurances that they will not be identifiable
- a description of the interview process and the topics we’ll cover
- the risks and benefits of taking part
- the support available to them throughout
- how the findings will be presented
- complaints process
- right to withdraw at any time
The information collected in the personal information sheets include:
- trans status
- sexual orientation
- emergency contact details
- home address
- Email address or phone number (according to participants’ preferred method of communication
A consent form will be provided and following completion, an appointment with the researcher will be arranged. Screening will continue throughout the process to ensure the participants remain happy to continue, reminding people that they can stop at any point and that they can withdraw their consent if they wish, without having to give a reason.
Data will be collected via the interview process which will be audio or digitally recorded with the participants’ permission. A topic guide will be used by the researcher to guide the questions asked.
Throughout we will be mindful of the impact of participation on the panel, interviewees, ourselves and any other stakeholders. We anticipate interviews of no longer than 1.5 hours, however there is some flexibility to offer follow-up interviews where necessary. Interviews will be conducted according to the participants’ preferred method including over the phone, videoconferencing or in person where possible.
We will summarise the themes raised by participants relating to the topics above by analysing the content of the interviews, making sure that individuals are not identifiable.
Prospective participants will be provided with preparatory information by email within 5 working days of making contact with the researchers. After screening, interviews will be offered as soon as possible, usually within two weeks. Participants will be offered a copy of the final report to be sent to them on completion. At this point, the participants involvement in the study will end.
A written report will be produced lifting out the key themes from the interviews relating to participants’ experiences of support following their bereavement and suggestions/recommendations for future service provision. This will be shared with SASP’s network and membership, including suicide bereavement support services currently commissioned by the NHS to improve support to people bereaved by suicide in order to promote good practice and improved inclusivity.