My name is Sharon McDonnell and I specialise in suicide bereavement research at the Centre for Mental Health and Risk at the University of Manchester in the UK. I am perhaps in a unique position in that I have been bereaved by suicide and I also have the skills and expertise to conduct research in this field (http://www.bbmh.manchester.ac.uk/staff/SharonMcDonnell/). My ultimate aim is to improve the future care given to those bereaved by suicide.
There are several reasons for writing my blog and they are as follows:
- To describe my experiences whilst conducting my Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to Australia and New Zealand and to learn how they care for those bereaved by suicide;
- To help enable others to understand and not fear coming into contact with those bereaved by suicide;
- To talk about the research and training I am currently conducting; and
- To update you on my progress as I lead an initiative to develop a suicide bereavement research unit in collaboration with the Centre for Mental Health and Risk at the University of Manchester (http://www.bbmh.manchester.ac.uk/cmhr/) and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust (http://www.penninecare.nhs.uk/about-us.htm).