Comment on the study ‘Bereavement by suicide as a risk factor for suicide attempt’ published in BMJ Open

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland has welcomed research from University College London carried out by Dr Alexandra Pitman et al, published today in BMJ Open:

“When you lose someone to suicide, the grief that you experience can be very intense and the emotions you feel can differ from the grief you experience following any other kind of death. Samaritans recognises that those who are bereaved by suicide are a particularly vulnerable group who need support.

Dr Pitman’s research is invaluable in helping us understand the complexities of this kind of grief and how much more vulnerable those bereaved by suicide really are, so that we can reach out and offer help in targeted ways.  For example, Samaritans is working in partnership with CRUSE Bereavement Care and the Department of Health to pilot an initiative called ‘Facing the Future’, which offers highly specialist support groups to people bereaved by suicide.

The groups are aimed at any adult who’s lost someone to suicide, no matter how long ago. The groups run for six weeks and allow people to talk to others who understand what they’re going through. They can open up, in their own way at their own pace, and start to develop coping strategies to deal with their loss. For many it will be the first chance they’ve had to really talk about what they’re experiencing.  Just hearing how someone else or another family is dealing with a suicide can help those who may be at risk to feel more hopeful about the future.”

For more information on Samaritans’ Facing the Future partnership, please go to:

You can find out where Facing the Future groups are currently running, or register your interest in future groups, here:

Full details of the study can be found here: Bereavement by suicide as a risk factor for suicide attempt: a cross-sectional national UK-wide study of 3432 young bereaved adults