The Impact of Suicide in the UK

Status

Not Started

Due to commence spring 2017

Background

Suicide bereavement is a priority for the NHS. Providing better support to those bereaved or affected by suicide has been targeted as an area for action in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. Those bereaved by suicide in England were first identified as a vulnerable population in 2002. However, little attention has been paid to their needs until recently. It is estimated that between six and sixty people are profoundly affected by each suicide.  As over 6,000 suicides are registered in the UK annually, it is possible to estimate between 36,000 and 360,000 people are bereaved by suicide annually, with some being significantly at risk of dying by suicide. Currently, our knowledge of how to assist them is limited compared to other ‘at risk’ populations.

Currently, the NHS do not provide specialist support for those bereaved by suicide, even though many experience adverse outcomes that are within the remit of psychiatric services.  Support tends to be provided by third sector organisations.  National policy recommendations are almost solely reliant on the voluntary sector to support those bereaved by suicide.

Aims of the Study

  • to understand more about the impact a death by suicide may have on the lives of those who are bereaved or affected by the death;
  • to learn more about the support people bereaved or affected by suicide received, how the support was helpful, and where such support is lacking;
  • to use what is learnt to inform the development of services to support people bereaved or affected by suicide.
  • to examine evidence of the need for suicide bereavement support services.

Method

Participants will be self-recruited, aged over 18 years, live in the UK and perceive themselves as either bereaved or affected by suicide.  There will be no restrictions on gender, kinship or time-frame in which the suicide occurred. They will be required to complete an online survey, which will be identify the impact suicide has had upon those bereaved or affected by suicide. Recruitment will commence spring 2017.
 

Project Members

Dr. Sharon McDonnell
Principle Investigator, Suicide Bereavement UK and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Manchester
Dr. Sarah Bates
Project Manager, Support After Suicide Partnership
Jane Powell
Chief Executive of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Dr. Isabelle Hunt
Research Fellow, National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, University of Manchester
Dr. Sandra Flynn
Research Fellow, National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, University of Manchester
Shirley Smith
Founder of If U Care Share Foundation