Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service aims to support people who’ve lost a loved one to suicide. It is funded by Leeds City Council and delivered by Leeds Mind and Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service charities. The service offers individual and group work support to people recently or historically bereaved by suicide. Referrals (which can be self, group or organisational) can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we will respond within two working days. To make a referral, call 0113 3055803 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compassionate support for people bereaved by suicide
Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service, (LSBS) has been set up as a result of a partnership between Leeds Mind and Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, (LSLCS) with support from Leeds Bereavement Forum (LBF). With funding from Leeds City Council, this initial three-year pilot project was officially launched on 10th of September 2015 to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day. Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service is staffed by workers who have personal experience of bereavement by suicide and will offer the following postvention activities, although these are not prescriptive and we aim to develop the service depending on the need of our users.
Multiple support groups run throughout the city, of differing structures, for differing populations. Groups are facilitated by a worker from LSBS and volunteer co-facilitators. One peer support group is currently running in the city centre, meeting bi-weekly in a central location – people wishing to attend must contact LSBS for information. An informal social drop in group is held once a month, the location and date of which will change monthly and will be widely promoted. It is our aim to develop diverse groups based on the feedback of people wishing to use the service. The groups also work to provide information and signposting for members.
LSBS offer a one-to-one service, where individuals can access up to six hourly sessions if they have been affected by suicide bereavement. These sessions give those recently bereaved time to talk about the myriad of emotions they may be experiencing in a safe environment. During these sessions, individuals can receive useful information concerning the processes after the death (including the coroners role and the following inquest) so they have an idea of what to expect. They will also be signposted to other helpful services which can strengthen the support network for the bereaved. Individuals can be referred to this service by external agencies such as the police, the coroner and other support organisations, or a self-referral can be made.
LSBS both develops and delivers training to others working with people bereaved by suicide, such as people working in the emergency services, teachers, counsellors and social workers. Such training includes information on supporting the bereaved, why suicide bereavement is different from other bereavement, grief reactions and the role of the professional.
LSBS recognises the stigma associated with death by suicide and the impact this can have on those bereaved. Part of the aim of the service is to highlight the links between bereavement by suicide and an individual’s risk of taking their own life or other negative health outcomes. Our trained staff give talks at conferences, develop workshops and speak at training sessions.