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A new study is being carried out by Suicide Bereavement UK, in collaboration with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, The Armed Forces Charity, to develop an evidence-based suicide bereavement resource for those bereaved by Armed Forces suicide.

The hope is to increase understanding of the needs of Armed Forces relatives, friends and colleagues who have been bereaved by suicide, with the study looking learn from and build on what is already in place in civilian and Armed Forces environments.

The project was launched in April last year, with Phase 1 of the study involving in-depth interviews with those whose significant other died by suicide in the last ten years. Sources of support will also be identified and collated.

In Phase 2, the suicide bereavement resource (content and design) will be developed, based on the insights gained in Phase 1.

It is hoped that the study will help empower relatives, friends and colleagues, as well as empowering those providing support, to make sure that they’re made aware of the help available and that they’re supported to seek help and continue to engage with services at a time of high risk and intense need.

Lead author of the study Dr Sharon McDonnell said: “It is an honour to lead this research project. I am very grateful to NHS England and NHS Improvements Armed Forces team for commissioning the study, the MoD for permitting serving personnel bereaved by suicide to participate and last but definitely not least, those who have taken part in the study. 

“They have shown the ultimate act of compassion, sharing their vulnerabilities and needs, to help others bereaved by an Armed Forces suicide in the future. One thing is for sure, together we will make a difference.”

If you wish to be kept up to date on the progress of this study, please get in touch with Paul Higham: paul.higham@suicidebereavementuk.com