SAIF is one of the largest national professional bodies, representing over 900 privately owned, independent funeral homes across the UK. As an organisation, they work hard to promote best practice within the sector. As an organisation, they are very much focused on supporting not only their members but the bereaved they work with. For example, they work with Professional Help, to provide SAIF Care to all clients of their members, in which they can speak with trained bereavement counsellors. As well as SAIF Support, which provides free confidential support to members and their staff, and through which they can access up to 6 counselling sessions with qualified professionals, for no further cost than membership.
We are working in partnership with SAIF to help develop suicide bereavement training resources for their staff, so they can feel more confident in their ability to support individuals bereaved by suicide; from knowing what’s best to say and possibly not to say, to how to connect with their local suicide bereavement support services. Funeral Directors work with people bereaved everyday and can be at risk of the effects of vicarious trauma. They will often one of the very first professionals to spend an extended period of time with a family bereaved by suicide following a loss, and so it is important that this time is effectively used to offer support and guidance to families going through this experience.
Why is this work so important?
We know that every person bereaved by suicide will need to visit their local funeral director. This means that collaborating and connecting with funeral directors, equipping them with knowledge of their local and national support, and suicide bereavement support resources, ensure that every bereaved person receives fundamental signposting information. It is also important that funeral directors feel secure in their ability to support people bereaved by suicide, as well as that they know where and how to access support when they may be struggling to cope.