About us

The Families Voices Forum is a regional volunteer group of individuals and families bereaved by suicide.

The Forum has been existence since 2006 and was critical in the development of the original Protect Life Strategy and again in the revised Protect Life 2 Strategy.

Read Protect Life 2 Strategy

The Forum networks with:

  • Bereaved by Suicide Support Groups across the country
  • community and voluntary sector groups that may provide support to those bereaved or provide suicide prevention support, and
  • bereaved individuals and families (known as postvention) to ensure communications are open both ways and that messages being given by the forum reflect shared concerns across the country.

Read more about Postvention

The Forum aims to work collaboratively with those in positions of authority to ensure families’ voices of lived experience are at the heart of decision making in the shift towards a co-design, co-production model of change which reduces suicide rates in Northern Ireland.

Achievements to date

  • Appropriate mandatory training on suicide awareness for all frontline staff, the police and teachers, now monitored and evaluated regionally.
  • The development of a regionally available booklet of support for families bereaved by suicide.
  • The development of a cross-border leaflet to help police working on border towns give the right support and guidance to families and friends following a suicide.
  • Ensuring the new Protect Life 2 strategy retained a focus upon reducing the suicide rates in Northern Ireland, defined by a measurable target.
  • Information sharing at community events across the region, as well as information giving at 6 regional conferences and the All-Party Working Group on Suicide.
  • We consult with the Chief Medical Officer and Health Minister on key action points.
  • We network with over 24 bereaved by suicide support groups across the country and a further 5 bereavement services globally.
  • We consult over 112 family members directly in our work.