Head and shoulders picture of Lisa Archibald from the Families Voices ForumThe Grief to Hope National Suicide Bereavement Report highlights the importance of services reaching out to support the bereaved, who are themselves a high risk group, Lisa Archibald writes.

The recently published Grief to Hope report follows a survey of more than 7,100 people about what it was like for them in the days, months and years following the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Download Grief to Hope report

It is the largest study of its kind in the world and hopes to see improved supportive policy and practice become a reality for the bereaved across the UK.

Over 200 family members from Northern Ireland participated in the 71-question survey. Nearly half (44%) of them had experienced more than one bereavement by suicide, far above the UK average.

The report highlights the importance of services reaching out to support the bereaved, with over 65% never having received any support.

It is concerning that 38% of the bereaved considered taking their own life after the loss of their loved one, with 8% reporting that they had attempted suicide.

The bereaved are a high risk group, a much larger group than was traditionally thought, and friends, work colleagues and professional responders all require more support.

The Grief to Hope report provides valuable insights and recommendations for all those working with the bereaved or who wish to gain a better insight into the impact of suicide across our community.

It is also worth reading a blog by Dr Sharon O’Donnell, one of the report’s authors, about the findings.

Read Dr Sharon O'Donnell's blog