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Suicide Bereavement Support

A free and confidential service for anyone affected by suicide

Suicide Bereavement Support is for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide in Highlands and Argyll & Bute. 

The Suicide Bereavement Support Service offers free and confidential one-to-one support for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide in Highland and Argyll & Bute. It’s open to people who live in the area, and also to people whose loved one died in the area. Support can be delivered over the phone, face to face, or by video call, and is available for as long as it is needed.

Our specially trained team can offer a safe and empathetic space to talk and be heard.  They will help you navigate the many and complex emotions felt after a suicide. The initial shock can be devastating and overwhelming but remember, you are not alone.

Our team can support you in the days or weeks immediately following a suicide on in the months, or even years, after your loss. We can also help with practical things like talking to GPs, the police or the procurator fiscal’s office. We can even help you to organise a funeral.

The impact of suicide reaches far and wide, affecting more than just immediate family. You can also access our service if you are a friend, colleague or neighbour.

“The suicide of my son was devastating. The support I have received from the Suicide Bereavement Support Service has been invaluable in enabling me to find the strength to rebuild my life and my heart.”

Emotional support after loss to suicide

We’re making it as easy as possible to access support. You can self-refer via email, phone or by using the form on this website; or you can be referred by Police, your GP or community mental health team. You can even ask a local community group or charity to refer you if you’d prefer.

Within 24 hours of receiving your referral, we’ll reach out to you in a way that suits your needs and your pace and then we’ll work with you to plan a schedule for your support.

Our Suicide Bereavement Support Service team across Highland and Argyll & Bute.

contact

Support can be provided over the phone, by secure video calling or face to face. Support is available for as long as it needed and in most cases, will be provided by the same person.

You can call us on 0800 471 4768 and leave a message or you can email us direct at suicidebereavementsupport@nhs.scot. You can also fill in the form below for further information.

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evaluation

After its second year of delivery, the Suicide Bereavement Service has provided over 1500 hours of support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The conclusions of the evaluation report, state that:

  • People have a positive experience and receive responsive, person-centred support that is delivered with sensitivity and compassion.
  • People receive support that is led by them and provides the flexibility required to respond to changing needs.
  • The service has a positive impact on service user’s emotional and mental wellbeing, the extent to which they feel they can cope and to return to day-to-day life and activities. For some people the impact is profound, with feedback suggesting that for some it has been the difference between living and not.

Feedback from people supported by SBS includes:

“The Suicide Bereavement Service has helped me reflect and helped me move forward at a pace that I can cope with.”

“So you still remember things, and the silliest of things can bring back a memory, which can be painful. But [the practitioner] has always been there whenever I’ve needed something. And that’s been invaluable. “

“SBS impact is absolutely massive. I just wanted to die. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I don’t feel like I actually want to die now. Without that service, I maybe wouldn’t be here, to be honest.”

Please note the pilot project also runs in Ayrshire and Arran, where it is delivered by Penumbra Mental Health.

Read the latest year 2 evaluation report below by Scottish Government.

creating hope

Change Mental Health is proud to be a part of Suicide Prevention Scotland, the new name of a community that will deliver the Scottish Government and COSLA’s Suicide Prevention Strategy, Creating Hope Together.

We attended Highland Community Planning Partnership’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan launch in Inverness to meet partners and organisations working together from the public and charity sectors to develop effective ways that will help prevent suicide.

Hear more from Lara, Project Manager of the Suicide Bereavement Support Service, below, who speaks about the importance of ensuring how people bereaved by suicide must have opportunities to access timely support.

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