The new Mental Health Foundation “After a suicide” resource; the perspective from lived experience

by Liesje Donkin
in News
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The Mental Health Foundation have launched a new resource ‘After a suicidefor family, whanau and friends to assist yourself or others through the aftermath of a suicide of a loved one.

Bereavement by suicide is unique and you may find yourself reacting in ways that you haven’t with previous experiences of grief. For example, managing the emotions of stigma, guilt, and the confusion of trying to understand ‘Why?’.  This is complex which is why we welcome some practical assistance to help guide us through these processes. ‘After a suicide’ is a resource that has been put together by others who have had these experiences as well as basing it on research. For clinicians, it is a valuable resource to guide your practice in supporting those bereaved by suicide.

After a Suicide’ is a compass that can guide you. It can reduce the isolation and the mental stress you may feel by guiding you through the practicalities. It can lessen a family/whanau’s distress. The resource recognises the pressures on the bereaved and the difficulty of navigating through the aftermath of a suicide by offering practical guidance through the processes: official processes like the Police; Coroner’s process; who to expect will approach you (e.g. Victim Support); how to share the information to others; how to respond to others such as answering their questions; and supportive services that you can access in the days following.

As well as guiding you, it looks after you and can be your own self-care guide to guide you or other loved ones through the processes.

- Amanda Christian, CASA

Is a registered psychologist in the Educational and Counselling scopes of practice. She brings a lived experience of suicide to CASA, having lost her daughter to suicide. This compels Amanda to help reduce suicide in our communities; to be a voice and to connect with bereaved others. Her intention in her work is to educate, inspire, be strength focused, and hopeful.