Impact of Suicide in the UK: Online Survey

Status: Current

Research Team

Dr Sharon McDonnell (Principal Investigator)1,2, Dr Isabelle M Hunt2, Dr S Flynn2, Shirley Smith3,4 and Barry McGale1,4

1 Suicide Bereavement UK
2 Centre for Mental Health and Safety, University of Manchester
3 If U Care Share Foundation
4 Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP)

Background

Suicide bereavement is a major mental health problem. Those bereaved or affected by suicide always outnumber the deceased and are also at increased risk of dying by suicide. The provision of better information and support for those bereaved or affected by suicide has become a government priority, however, there is a lack of evidence on the experiences and perceived needs of people bereaved or impacted by such deaths from their own perspectives.

Aims

  • To understand the impact of a death by suicide on the lives of those who were bereaved/affected by suicide
  • To establish the type of support/services people bereaved by suicide had accessed, their experiences of services and whether needs were met
  • To explore how support for people bereaved or affected by suicide can be improved

Methods

The University of Manchester, in collaboration with Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP) conducted a national cross-sectional study examining the needs of people bereaved and/or affected by suicide. Data were collected between 26th September 2017 and 31st August 2018, via an anonymous online survey. Participants were self-recruited, aged 18 and over, resident in the UK and perceived themselves to be either bereaved or affected by suicide. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated and analysed. 

Findings

A report will be launched winter 2020 and made publicly available.  Date to be confirmed.

Acknowledgements

Securing funding to conduct this four year study has been extremely difficult.  Consequently, we were dependent on the goodwill of the research team to offer their expertise and time, without payment.  This study would cost in the region of £300k,  if it was fully costed.   We are grateful to The Monument Trust who provided £10k, which has been used for the design of the report and the dissemination strategy.  We also grateful to the University of Manchester for providing the facilities to conduct the research, including providing ethical approval.

Awards

The research team has received five commended ‘Making a Difference Awards for Social Responsibility’ from the University of Manchester (2015; 2016; 2018; 2019 and 2020) which are directly associated with this study.

For more information contact:

Dr Sharon McDonnell

Email: sharon.mcdonnell@suicidebereavementuk.com