Free guide launched in Wales to help people who are bereaved through suicide

Hundreds of people take their own lives each year in Wales, now an updated guide has been launched to help people who are bereaved through suicide and unexplained death, and for those helping them.

The Help is at Hand Cymru guide aims to help people who are unexpectedly bereaved in this way. It also provides information for healthcare and other professionals who come into contact with bereaved people, to assist them in providing help and to suggest how they themselves may find support if they need it.

Help is at Hand Cymru The guide includes sections on practical matters, experiencing bereavement, sources of support and how friends and colleagues can help. It will be sent to various people who come into contact with those bereaved through suicide such as funeral directors, General Practitioners, the police and coroner’s officers and it will be available free of charge on the Public Health Wales, Cruse, Papyrus, and Samaritans websites.

Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “I would like to thank the National Advisory Group on Suicide and Swansea University for updating this excellent resource.  I hope it will provide support to people who find themselves in the tragic position of losing a loved one through suicide.

“I am also pleased that the guide provides advice for healthcare professionals. Nurses, GPs, psychiatrists, ambulance staff and all other NHS staff can be affected by such deaths and it is important they have access to support”.

Dr Ann John, Clinical Associate Professor in Public Mental Health at Swansea University, and Chair of the National Advisory Group and Public Health Wales lead for suicide prevention, said:

“There are around 300 suicide deaths a year in Wales and for each one of these, it has been suggested, on average six people are deeply affected. These include family, friends and colleagues together with members of the public and professionals involved. People bereaved by suicide often need considerable support but may find it difficult to seek or obtain help. The booklet is a self-help resource developed for people bereaved through suicide or other unexplained death - parents, friends, colleagues, and for those helping them”.

Nicola Abraham of the Jacob Abraham Foundation said: "As a parent I was disappointed not to be given any supportive literature when my son took his own life. Having subsequently been aware of Help is at Hand, I know I would have found it extremely helpful”.

At 8pm on Monday 20 March, ITV’s Wales This Week programme features a report on the deaths of two men who took their own lives, and the impact their deaths had on family and friends.