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World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September, and invites everyone to show their support for suicide prevention efforts, to reflect, and to remember those lost to suicide and those bereaved by suicide.
September 01, 2023
Many charities and organisations come together in the weeks leading up to World Suicide Prevention Day to highlight the message that suicide is preventable, and that it is not inevitable.
This article contains information and advice on how to support someone who may be feeling suicidal, additional local and national support that can help someone at risk, as well as the support Cruse Scotland can provide to those bereaved by suicide.
More resources are needed to support suicide prevention in Scotland. This includes to those bereaved by suicide.
Often survivors are referred to as suicide survivors who feel misunderstood and very isolated due to the complex mix of feelings of pain, sadness, guilt, anger, regret and other intensive negative emotions.
These survivors are deemed to be at greater risk of poor mental health and suicidal behaviours themselves, due to the specific grief process following a death by suicide.
Those with lived experience of suicide loss can find it hard to find support in their grief, which is at least in part related to the continuing stigma and shame around the topic of suicide.
In partnership with Perth and Kinross Council, Cruse Scotland has agreed a suicide bereavement project plan which is being led by the newly appointed Suicide Bereavement Project Coordinator. The aim of the project is to improve access to suicide bereavement support for adults within Perth and Kinross Council area by mapping existing supports, identifying gaps, looking at the training needs of frontline staff and researching postvention support models and interventions.
Cruse Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council have produced a Directory of organisations that provide suicide prevention services locally as well as nationally.
As Scotland's leading bereavement charity, Cruse Scotland has an existing project in Scotland specifically to support employers with staff who have experienced suicide within their workplace. (Workplace Bereavement Support)
We also provides an Early Support Services to assess grief support needs for those within six months of being bereaved. To those bereaved by suicide loss this service is very much needed.
We also provides information to those bereaved by suicide which will validate the feelings they will be experiencing.
Each of us as a family member, a friend, a work colleague or even as a stranger, can provide support those bereaved by suicide and in distress, by remembering three simple words;
By providing Time, Space, Compassion, we are in effect saying to those distressed by suicidal thoughts or suicide loss that you matter, that we care and are creating hope.
It’s important when showing Time, Space, Compassion to others you show them to yourself, reflect and rest so you feel prepared to support to those who need it.
We can all create hope through our actions and be the light in someone’s darkness.
Whilst it may feel daunting encouraging someone to open up and talk to us about how they are feeling it’s important to remember that it’s not always about words or actions-creating a connection is just as important.
Other suicide prevention charities have a variety of resources that can help start difficult conversations where they are able to convey they care to those distressed or bereaved.
This article was prepared by Ann Hunter, Suicide Bereavement Project Coordinator, Cruse Scotland.