New body needed to support families struck by suicide

Suicide web

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) Scotland wants to see tailored support to help those at risk and families who have lost a loved one

12th June 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has called for a dedicated service to help families struck by suicide.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) Scotland has launched a campaign which aims to put suicide prevention back on the political agenda.

The group is calling for a revamp of the current framework, including suicide training for job centre and health centre staff to spot those who may be at risk.

MHF said that a national body would help to address the root causes of suicide and provide tailored support to loved ones of those who take their own lives.

Public affairs manager Toni Giugliano said: “There should be a concerted effort to support family members in the aftermath of a suicide, as well as first responders, who are often close relatives or friends of the deceased.

“Such individuals often struggle to cope with the trauma of the bereavement and are themselves at a higher risk of suicide. A recent survey of bereaved young adults who lost a friend or relative by suicide found that 20% had received no mental health support. This has to change.

“Families have told the foundation that very little support is available in the aftermath of a suicide, such as liaising with the coroner. Research suggests that families and close friends affected by suicide are at greater risk of suicide themselves and the foundation believes that they should receive support as a matter of priority.”

The Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee is due to meet today (Tuesday 12 June) to continue its inquiry into suicide prevention.