The effectiveness and acceptability of Suicide Postvention Liaison Services for Individuals Bereaved by Suicide

Why is this important?

Adequate and timely support for those bereaved by suicide is a key objective in the NO MORE Zero Suicide Strategy (2017) for Cheshire and Merseyside. Department of Health (2012) announced that providing better information and support to those bereaved and affected by suicide is a key area for action, as is supporting research and encouraging support for those bereaved by suicide both locally and nationally. The importance of national and local suicide prevention plans was also highlighted (DH 2014). Previously, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention (2015) found that local suicide prevention plans are varying and inconsistent; however now 95% of local authorities have suicide prevention plans in place. Police, coroner and GP involvement at a local level is inconsistent and some local authorities still report not having a multi-agency suicide prevention group; thus, suggesting less collaboration between key agencies. Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England (2016) recommended all local authorities have a multiagency suicide prevention strategy in place by 2017.

Across England and Northern Ireland, there are services providing support following someone dying by suicide. The main aim of most of these services is to minimise emotional impact and reduce further suicides. The services offer practical support such as information surrounding the inquest, media and financial advice and emotional support and signposting to other services. Services support families, next of kin to the deceased person and finder of a body, whether they are related to the deceased or not. Some also support blue light services who are exposed to suspected suicides through their work, and communities such as schools, if there is a death within that community.

What is this study going to do?

This study aims to interview people supported by these services, the employees delivering this support, commissioners and key wider services who may have links to the services, including coroners, police, GPs and public health officials. We would like to talk to services who may be interested in taking part and anyone who has been supported by a suicide postvention service.

Will the interviews be distressing?

Although the interviews are on a sensitive topic, the interview focuses on the support provided. People taking part can take breaks, take things at their own pace and stop the interview, should they wish to.

Who should I contact for more information or if our service would like to take part:

Principal investigator
Laura Abbate -

Director of studies
Dr Pooja Saini -