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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
3. If U Care Share Foundation
4. Support After Suicide Partnership (SASP)

The National Suicide Bereavement Report 2020

The Report Launch

Coming Soon

Executive summary


Providing better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide is a government priority. However, our knowledge and understanding of effective postvention support is limited in the UK. This study aims to address this knowledge gap, to help inform and guide policy and practice in this newly developing field.

Aims of the study

  • 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 their needs were met
  • To explore how support for people bereaved or affected by suicide can be improved.


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, were resident in the UK and perceived themselves to be either bereaved or affected by suicide. Quantitative and qualitative data were generated and analysed.


7,158 people completed the survey, and findings are presented in the report. This is the largest suicide bereavement survey internationally.

To view a publication on the report    Publication

Artistic Interpretation






The Spoken Word



Download this poem



Download this poem


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust  

Read Sharon’s post entitled ‘From Grief to Hope’ on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust blog, which focuses on the Suicide Bereavement report and the conference that she hosts.

Read Sharon’s post on her blog entitled ‘I Didn’t Expect this Response!‘, which focuses on the lack of attention towards the report in national tabloids


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 about this study GET IN TOUCH