Support Provided to Communities in New Zealand which Experience Suicide Contagion or Suicide Clusters

3 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    Hi Denise, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, it was a lovely surprise : – ) Must say I am enjoying writing the blog as it is such a great way to share knowledge and information. Over 800 people are reading my posts from various countries, including UK, Eire, Germany, America, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. The most exciting thing is that people bereaved by suicide, clinicians and researchers are reading it. Quite by chance this blog has created a platform where people interested in suicide bereavement can communicate with one another. Are you going to write a blog when you start your fellowship?

  2. Sharon says:

    Hi Anne, I am so pleased that you are reading my posts and taking time to respond them. Currently, over 1200 people are regularly reading my blog. I am hoping at some point that readers will get involved in a debate/discussion about some of the things that I discuss. That’s when it will get really interesting. I think then we will all learn from one another, rather than me doing all the talking! I have learnt so much whilst in Australia and New Zealand and I am thrilled that I have this blog to tell others of the excellent work that is going on.

    1. I am aware of the Samaritans Step by Step programme in the UK. Whilst it is a wonderful initiative, the response programmes to schools in NZ differ in that they are proactive and contact the schools. Plus they adopt a multi-agency approach which include health professionals, child protection, social services, etc) who all work together to ensure pupils, staff and parents receive the best possible care/support. I believe the government should consider adopting a similar approach in the schools in the UK. At the very least, it should be made mandatory that every school has a postvention strategy in place if either a pupil or teacher dies by suicide.

    2. I agree, there should be a national community postvention support programme in the UK. StandBy in Australia have had their service evaluated and it has shown that it is of value to those bereaved by suicide and is also cost effective.

    3. I also agree that in the UK most of our work in postvention is being conducted/organised by third sector agencies. Whilst their work is of great value, I believe the UK government should adopt the same stance as the Australian and NZ government who invest significant funding into postvention services and research.

    4. I think you are right we need to work harder, locally and nationally, on sharing resources and best practice in postvention. Ideally, we need a national database. However, I am hoping this blog might be a place were we can inform one another. Also, the annual suicide bereavement conference organised by the University of Manchester is another opportunity to share resources and good practice.

  3. Sharon says:

    Hi Anne, Yes it is rare for schools to have a strategy in place. If anyone knows of any schools that have one please let me know. Social networking sites are also problematic when a young person dies by suicide. In New Zealand health professionals monitor these to identify vulnerable pupils after a death. They also focus on the memorial pages to the young person who has died. During the past three weeks Greater Manchester three children aged between 12, 15 and 16 have died by suicide. Cannot begin to imagine how many children are bereaved by suicide in the Greater Manchester area after these deaths. One thing I do know is that we do not have the services in place to support them effectively. Children do not have a voice, adults and communities do. The time has come for the UK to address this issue.

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