Around 20 funeral directors attended an event aimed at improving information, guidance and support for families bereaved by suicide.
The event, which forms part of the citywide Suicide Prevention Strategy, was hosted by Plymouth City Council’s Public Health team and local Celebrant Wendy Coulton, who helped organise the workshop. In addition, it can be announced that Pete’s Dragons, an organisation which provides specialist support to those affected by suicide, will be providing a service in Plymouth.
Councillor Ian Tuffin, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Portfolio Holder for Health and Adult Social Care said “Our local suicide prevention partnership has been looking for ways in which we can ensure all those bereaved by suicide get the recommended information and support at the earliest opportunity. The idea is to seek partners to work with us to make sure this information is available to them through all possible routes and so we are delighted that the funeral directors in Plymouth have agreed to do this. We know that bereavement by suicide is particularly difficult and complex, so ensuring people are supported as early as possible is essential. We are also very pleased that Pete’s Dragons are now moving into the city to provide their expertise and support to local people.”
Celebrant Wendy Coulton, who helped with the organising of the workshop, said: “It is immensely heartening to know that all the funeral directors in Plymouth see the value of being the professionals who will give families in these very difficult and life changing circumstances information about the specialist support available for them. It means that postcode will be irrelevant because everyone should receive the right information in a timely manner. From the outset the bereaved will know if and when they need advice or support how to get it.
“Funeral directors and arrangers are best placed to take on this specific responsibility in support of the overall suicide
prevention strategy and we are very grateful to them for their collaboration. Behind the scenes Walter C Parson has kindly made available a meeting room at their Crownhill office for us to plan for this event and Devonport Guildhall generously let us use the venue without charge.”
The Funeral Directors were given information packs to benefit the families they will be supporting, and those who have signed up to this information sharing initiative are:
Co op Funeralcare, Earls Dignity, James Brothers, Knapman Family, Walter C Parson, and Wyatt Brothers.
Another key strategy action is to improve specialist suicide bereavement support. As part of this, Pete’s Dragons have recently announced their expansion into the city. Funeral Directors heard first hand from the Chief Executive Alison Jordan about the services Pete’s Dragons provides which includes: listening, counselling, practical advice, financial assistance and holistic therapies as well as a suite of workshop and family wellbeing sessions. Pete’s Dragons also provide training opportunities for staff, health and social care professionals and citizens to enhance their awareness of mental health issues including suicide prevention and working with those bereaved by suicide.
- Don’t forget the Samaritans can be called round the clock, 24 hours a day, on 116 123.