Testimonials

PABBS Training - July 2018
 

'I currently work in the UK and Africa during and after traumatic incidents. To find someone with Dr Sharon McDonnell’s enthusiasm to bring training and research to frontline specialists is truly inspirational.
Sharon brings speakers with innovative, factual and evidence based experiences, giving practioners the opportunity to network and build a knowledge bank to enhance our work around the world. This research is key to building a greater knowledge to improve our practice. It was an honour to hear experiences from other practioners, thank you'.  

Margaret Connelly - Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) North Yorkshire & City of York

PABBS Training - July 2018

“I have worked in excess of 20 years in various clinical roles within mental health services and found the PABBS Evidence Based Suicide Bereavement Training that I attended in July 2018 to be a very valuable experience. It provided new and interesting insight, and also a chance to reflect on past experiences, and will positively influence my future practice. It also helped immensely that the facilitator on our course was a warm and friendly human being, who put everyone at their ease and kindly shared his experiences, giving the learning a tangible link to real life.”

Dallan McGleenan - Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

PABBS Training - Manchester - Sept 2018

I was very pleased to attend the PABBS training in September 2018. A really stimulating and thought provoking day, assisting me to think about our own service development but also about how we support our workforce in being present for people and families experiencing a death by suicide.

A worthwhile investment delivered sensitively and with a great level of enthusiasm for a topic that awakens sadness but in the same breath creates hope for the future.

Naomi Sutcliffe - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

PABBS Training - September 2018
 

For anyone who encounters or supports people affected by suicide, the PABBS training is a must. A loss by suicide is such a complex grieving process and therefore warrants specialised training. I came away with a much richer understanding of how to help those impacted by suicide - from family members to clinicians - thanks to the engaging and well researched training provided by Dr. Sharon McDonnell and her team.

Halani Foulsham - Trustee for Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide Author of the After Journal: a suicide bereavement writing journal

PABBS Training - September 2018
 

I recently attended PABBS training and really found it to be a useful and valuable day. I ended the day feeling more confident and more skilled to assist people who had been bereaved by suicide. The training was delivered by knowledgeable professionals who were passionate about their subject. I learnt more about how postvention skills are also prevention skills. The course included some really practical advice on how to support people bereaved by suicide, and how we need to be alert to the vulnerabilities of bereaved families and friends.  This is essential training for all health care practitioners.

Helen Lee-Savage- Suicide Prevention Lead- Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Tweet about PABBS suicide bereavement training - January 2017

'This is fantastic training. I was so lucky to be in one of the pilot groups. Such essential evidence-based training. Please consider attending.'

Tweet about PABBS suicide bereavement training - January 2017
Tweet by Salli Midgley - 2017

'Presenting our draft suicide prevention plan at Trust Board tomorrow, pleased to be promoting @Connectwpeople training and @SJMcDonn PABBS.'

Salli Midgley (@SalliMidgley) Assistant Director of Nursing, Humber NHS Foundation Trust
PABBS suicide bereavement training - June 2018

‘Sorry we haven't posted for a few days, we've been spending time refreshing our skills. On Monday, we made a visit to Manchester to take the excellent, evidence-based suicide bereavement training Suicide Bereavement UK have put together. The training is so thorough and practical, you can tell it has been well thought out and is backed up by extensive research. The training has been informed by interviews taken with parents, GP's, mental health professionals and A&E staff involved in suicide bereavement. We recommend anyone working with families and parents who are bereaved would find this course useful. Thank you to the whole team!’

Tiffany Ansari - Grassroots Suicide Prevention
PABBS In-House suicide bereavement training - Gloucester - February 2018

'We commissioned the Postvention: Assisting those Bereaved By Suicide (PABBS) course to find out how useful it is in increasing understanding across organisations supporting those who have been bereaved by suicide.  The feedback we’ve received (all of which has been positive) has demonstrated that it is very valuable to those who provide that important support to people who have been bereaved'.

Nicky Maunder, Commissioning Officer, Gloucestershire County Council Public Health

Tweet about PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2017
'Effective and essential training in suicide bereavement - massive skill set gaps in the UK . Highly recommended.'

Tweet about PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2017
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop, which gave me new insights and skills for working with people of all ages bereaved by suicide. The course content and materials were very informative, and the trainers brought a wealth of knowledge and experience which they shared in a supportive and interactive environment. It was also a great opportunity to network and learn from other professionals from various backgrounds. I would fully recommend this course to anybody working in or interested in the field of postvention'.

Laura del Carpio (PhD Student, University of Strathclyde)
PABBS suicide bereavement training - June 2018

'Excellent training, invaluable lived experiences shared, resources were first class, and great to be among such an amazing group of people so passionate and committed to postvention with the aim to preventing future suicides. New professional relationships created with like minded people, brilliant. I cannot recommend this training highly enough'.

Samantha Catt, Volunteer Coordinator for the Coroners Court Support Service.
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'I found the PABBS training to be enlightening, thought provoking and moving. This training and suicide bereavement support should be an integral part of suicide prevention. I have already taken some ideas to my workplace to start making changes to the way we support those bereaved by suicide. Thank you'.

Dr Ananta Dave. Consultant Psychiatrist, Dudley & Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust Suicide prevention lead.
PABBS suicide bereavement training - January 2017

'This event was very well organised and used a range of excellent training materials relevant to general practice. The training challenged me to think carefully about how to deal with suicide and its after effects, but was also a very supportive environment. I learned a great deal from the materials and from talking to colleagues from a range of clinical backgrounds.'

Dr John Smyth, GP, General Medical Council
PABBS suicide bereavement training - Feb 2018

'I would like to thank you and your team for providing such high  quality comprehensive training in Manchester on the 21st February  2018. I enjoyed it and learnt so much, it also reassured me that the postvention service we at Lifecraft have recently established in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is appropriate, flexible and responsive.  I have also picked up some really good resources and  ideas for the service. [...] I wish you all the best with your work and look forward to training with your organisation again in the future.'

Fiona Breaker-Rolfe, employed by Lifecraft (2018)

PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'Thank you so much for making this training available, for too long I have felt that I am working in isolation in trying to develop the BSBS.

No pressure, but it would be lovely to have additional training as a step further on!'.

Caroline Holley - CHUMS
PABBS In-House suicide bereavement training - Gloucester - February 2018

'The PABBS training course I attended in Gloucester in February, was very insightful. I was left thinking about my own attitudes to suicide as well as the fear and anxiety about death in general. Which has been a positive outcome of the course.

I have not been personally affected by a suicide. Though, I did counsel a client whose best friend killed himself. He was left feeling responsible for his friend's death because he had been too tired to respond to his last phone call on the night he took his own life. I have to admit that I felt poorly equipped in the counselling room. I think I am better prepared now, even after only this one day of training. Many of the course delegates had been affected by suicide bereavement. I was touched by the quiet humility of others as they shared their stories. Until attending the training day, I had not fully appreciated the need to speak freely about a bereavement through suicide. Nor had I recognised how isolating a person can feel through experiencing a bereavement this way. Besides the very good audio- visual content which reflected those experiences, the PABBS course offered attendees an open platform to share their feelings of intense shock, disbelief, pain, guilt and sometimes abandonment. Finding some relief perhaps, that they were not alone in their experiences? The course facilitators were excellent and sympathetic to those who wanted to speak, allowing them as much time as they needed. Observing this 'open forum', brought into focus the importance of being able to offer more opportunities for all those bereaved by suicide to be heard if they want to be. A place for them to go where they can speak openly about what they are feeling and thinking.

The PABBS training course taught me that in my counselling role, I have to be willing to BE with a bereaved survivor of suicide. To listen to them and acknowledge their pain. Not by trying to offer them answers when there aren't any, nor by attempting to erase their pain but by patiently sharing a dark and lonely place with them. Allowing their grief to be explored for as long as it takes. Death is a pretty taboo subject. Death by suicide even more so. Training courses like PABBS bring the subject out of the closet where it can be aired and thought about. It shouldn't be shamefully packaged and kept under the counter.

Suicide provokes powerful emotional reactions. This was evident throughout the training day. It is an uncomfortable subject but one that is not going to go away. There needs to be more availability of training courses like PABBS to help people like me, find ways to help those left behind after a suicide. They are the ones who need to negotiate a tricky path towards a kind of acceptance that their loved one chose death over life'.

Sarah Ambridge, Staff Counsellor, Gloucestershire Counselling Service

"We are pleased to let you know that 'Support after Suicide: A guide to providing local services' is now available on the Public Health England website . Guidance on 'Developing and delivering local suicide postvention support' and 'Evaluating local suicide postvention support' is also available on the NSPA website.

Public Health England and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance would like to thank you for your impressive support in helping create them. We know a phenomenal amount of work has gone in to developing these and your expertise has been greatly appreciated throughout this process."

Download a copy of the letter here

Public Health England
House of Commons - Thursday 23 November 2017

'One of the most vulnerable communities are those bereaved by suicide. Dr Sharon McDonnell, Director of Suicide Bereavement UK at the University of Manchester and Support After Suicide Partnership are carrying out research into the services available for those bereaved by suicide to prevent future deaths. I’m sending out details for surgeries of honourable members, but could we have a debate on suicide bereavement and its impact on families and friends, but also, will the leader of the house support me in encouraging members to circulate the survey to their constituencies.'

Madeleine Moon MP (Hansard 2017)

PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'It was a great pleasure to meet you and the Facilitators on what was an extremely worthwhile and beneficial course

I know that that I will be able to use much of the material as I spend time with Families affected by suicide. Thank you so much'.

Paul Bowen MICF Funeral Celebrant

PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'Having been bereaved by suicide l know first hand the devastation for families left behind. This course will give you a true insight into the impact that suicide can have on families, communities and professionals .  The course leaders showed an obvious knowledge and understanding of the issues. I highly recomend this training If you are wanting to support people in a compassionate way following a bereavement by suicide'.

Wendy Morris. Social Worker, Trustee Sunflowers Suicide Support
PABBS suicide bereavement training - January 2016

'I found the PABBS training compassionate, caring and highly professional. I would strongly recommend it to my medical colleagues. It has been developed jointly with service users, those bereaved by suicide, GPs and Mental Healthcare professionals and this clearly shows in the structure, style and content of training. It has also been thoroughly evaluated and is one of the few evidenced based postvention training that I have come across."

I have been around colleagues who have experienced the suicide of a client and one aspect they have all emphasised is their complete lack of knowledge and understanding of what to do after a suicide on all levels.  Attending the PABBS postvention training course has given me the understanding, skills and confidence to care for those bereaved by suicide including myself.

Having experienced a recent bereavement by suicide in my personal life, the training and knowledge I have learnt at the conference and the PABBS training has been a real source of comfort, hope and strength with which to look after others and myself.'

Dr Martin Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist, State of Mind, Ireland
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

“The course gave a very good overview of what is a difficult subject for many people – informative and thought provoking.  It really was an excellent day (I particularly loved the pace and the opportunity to ask questions). A very valuable day’s training”.

Margo Bennett - Cruse Bereavement Care
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'I found the Postvention: Assisting those Bereaved By Suicide training particularly beneficial as I currently deliver training to community gatekeepers around suicide prevention strategies.  The PABBS training, backed by thorough research, has ensured that I fully understand the impact on all of those bereaved by suicide and how best to support them including where to access appropriate resources.  I intend to keep all of our community gatekeepers in a network so that if they find themselves bereaved by suicide in a personal or professional capacity they can immediately access the support that they will need.'

Wendy Kay - Policy & Research Officer Healthwatch Wirral
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018
'I am a serious incident investigator working in the Patient Safety Team for TEWV mental health Trust. I attended the PABBS training and found it very helpful not only being able to listen to / network with others and learn from their initiatives but also in considering the evidence-based research that was undertaken, it made me think again about how I work / how my organisation works and the processes we have in place for supporting people bereaved by suicide both as staff working with the person as well as their family.
This training has made me realise how important the right support at the right time is and we have instigated a review of our post-vention support with a plan to improve this by building on your work!'
I would highly recommend this training to others
Catherine Lee-Cowan, Serious Incident Investigator – Link for York and Selby
PABBS suicide bereavement training - March 2017

'I just wanted to say that until I saw your presentation I was unaware of the lack of training/support that was out there and since seeing you I have now introduced an aspect of suicide bereavement into suicide prevention training in Berkshire.  I am very much looking forward to enhancing this training following attending PABBS on the 13th March. I learnt a lot about myself (personally and professionally) and my own uncomfortable feelings regarding suicide bereavement, since meeting you and attending the conference I realise that the stigma surrounding this particular issue is not just professional but society as a whole. However, through the continued education of services and putting the word out there in the public domain this will positively impact these stigmas.'

Jason Wear, Advanced Mental Health Practitioner, Berkshire Health Foundation Trust

PABBS suicide bereavement training - April 2018

"The PABBS Evidence-based Suicide Bereavement Training was really informative and I learnt so much from the day, which was very well structured,  with the right mix of presentations, discussion and above all, the opportunity to listen to those bereaved by suicide about what had helped them.   Having been apprehensive about attending as a non-practitioner, I am so glad I went as this is everyone's business.   I am looking forward to using what I learnt to push for better support for those bereaved by suicide in the Assembly." 

Lynne Neagle AM (Welsh Assembly Member for Torfaen).
PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'I recently attended the PABBS evidence-based suicide bereavement training which I found to be very informative and thought-provoking. The trainers were compassionate and provided a valuable personal insight into an emotive subject area.  The inclusion of videos within the training materials, provided the opportunity to hear directly from families bereaved by suicide, which was very powerful'.

 

Rachael Winter, Community Clinical Manager, Northumberland Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

PABBS suicide bereavement training - June 2018

‘What a valuable day we have had today in Manchester!!

We want to thank Suicide Bereavement UK for running the PABBS course today - Postvention: Assistaning those Bereaved by Suicide. Provided by incredibly experienced practitioners and researchers, we are now further equipped with the knowledge and skills in helping those who have been bereaved by suicide.

We met some fantastic individuals with a wealth of experience and knowledge which only heightened the experience and empowered us further.

Thank you for a great day'.

Sue Stevenson - Joshua’s Light Foundation

PABBS suicide bereavement training - February 2018

'I thoroughly enjoyed the Suicide Bereavement Course in Manchester in 2018. It was thought provoking and had a range of professionals in attendance which gave different views to the subject. I came away with skills and strategies that I intend to use in my role in Telford & Wrekin Council as the Safeguarding Children in Education Officer'.

Mark Turner (Safeguarding Children in Education Officer, Telford and Wrekin Council)
Suicide Bereavement UK's International Annual Conference - 2016

'Sharon McDonnell has found her calling. She has inspired us to reflect and connect, when she brought us all together to share and learn in Manchester. After 20 years "in the field" this was the first time I got to spend a day with so many fellow suicide postvention experts. The conference empowered me to keep my focus and continue to learn. All the way from Germany; thank you very much, dear Sharon'.

Andrea Walraven-Thissen, Strategic Critical Incident Manager, expert in Psychotraumatology, based in Germany (working in several countries)
Suicide Bereavement UK's International Annual Conference - 2016

'I had lost my first patient from suicide in the first year of my appointment to my current Consultant Position in 2006. This was an extremely traumatic experience as it had not been foreseen and traditional risk assessment indicators had categorised the risk as low. In dealing with the subsequent inquiry, I became very depressed. Having been actively involved in suicide /self-harm research, I left this for over 8 years. It was only on attending your conference and subsequent training that I realised that this type of 'disenfranchised grief' did not fit the 'normal' profile of grief and that it was common to experience feelings of inadequacy and loss for many years'.

Dr Martin Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist
Suicide Bereavement UK's International Annual Conference - 2016

'As community mental health nurses the suicide of one of our clients is our biggest fear.  However, I was not provided with any education on suicide in my nurse training and continuing professional development training on suicide is very scarce.  As a result I have been running scared for the last twenty years desperately hoping that my practice would prevent my clients from taking their lives.  This is not a healthy way to lead your working life.  Through attending the Suicide conference I discovered a whole new world of training, research findings and hope.  I felt privileged to hear people's experiences and stories as well as leaving with a better understanding of the area of suicide.'

Alex Cotton, community mental health nurse
Suicide Bereavement UK’s  International Annual Conference - 2016

'After 20 years 'in the field' this was the first time I got to spend a day with so many fellow suicide postvention experts. The conference empowered me to keep my focus and continue to learn.'

Andrea Walraven-Thissen, Strategic Critical Incident Manager, Germany
House of Commons - 2015

‘We have to look at how we support families, including families of men who die by suicide … How do we support families and communities? For those who wish to understand how we can support those families, I recommend the excellent work of Sharon McDonnell at the University of Manchester.’

Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend (Hansard, 2015)
House of Commons - 2012

'I recommend that the Minister read the work of Dr Sharon McDonnell […] She has researched how health professionals […] interact with bereaved families […] I urge the Minister to discuss not only the changes that she has identified as necessary but how we can move forward and ensure that we change families’ experience.'

Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend (Hansard, 2012)
House of Commons -2013

'The Trust has a Suicide Liaison Officer, Barry McGale, who does not just work well locally, but is globally active and is part of progressive policy-pushing network on the subject. When people spoke about the Derry model, part of what they meant was that suicide liaison service.'

Mark Durkan, SDLP, (Hansard, 2013)