Support groups for people bereaved by suicide
Our Facing the Future support groups provide a space where you will feel comfortable, listened to and, most importantly, be given the time to talk. They provide a safe, relaxed place where there is no pressure, and you will meet other people who are dealing with having lost someone to suicide.
Joining a support group and sharing your experiences and feelings with people who understand can help you start to feel better and ready to face the future.
Each group will have around five to eight members and two trained volunteers from Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Care to provide guidance and support. Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Care are working together, bringing their specific expertise and experience to create a safe space where you can open up in your own way, at your own pace.
Groups in Exeter
Each support group takes place once a week over six consecutive weeks, with each session lasting for 90 minutes. We suggest you join a group where you are able to go to at least five of the six sessions to help you get the most out of it, you must be able to attend the first session.
For more information on groups in Devon, please go to the Facing the Future website www.facingthefuturegroups.org or call 0208 939 9560.
What can you expect?
Facing the Future groups are about peer support in a safe environment. There is no set agenda or structure for the group sessions. Facilitators are guided by what members of the group wish to talk about and feel they need help with.
Once you register your interest, you will receive a phone call from one of our volunteers to explain more about the group. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and make you aware of what other support services are available. You can then decide if the group is right for you at this time.
Before your first group begins, you will be sent a pre-group questionnaire. There will also be a follow up questionnaire sent to you following the completion of the group. These are anonymous and are designed to help us evaluate and develop the service.
Benefits of attending the groups
You might feel that others don’t understand how you are feeling. Even if you have supportive family and friends, you might find it helpful to talk with others who have experienced a similar loss – sometimes these are the only people who really understand.
People who have attended our groups have told us it helped them to talk to others dealing with similar issues in a safe, closed environment. Each group includes people with different experiences, circumstances, backgrounds and relationship to the person who has died. This can help you to understand how your family and friends might be feeling and learn from others who may be at a different stage in the bereavement process.
You are free to express yourself with others who are also grieving as a result of losing someone to suicide. Other group members have told us that they feel safe in our groups.
Anything talked about in the group sessions will not be shared with anyone outside the group. Nor will any written records be kept. However, please not that there may be times when we may have to break these rules if we feel you or someone else is in danger.
You might be dealing with difficult emotions and questions. Talking about how you are feeling can help you to process any problems and see things differently. You may also learn useful coping strategies from your fellow group members.
The group supports one another to come to conclusions that can often lead to acceptance, and increased hope for facing the future.
Previous group members have felt that they were listened to in a respectful environment even when people are sharing things they might never have said out loud before, there is a safe and supportive atmosphere.
You must be over 18 to join a group, and have lost someone to suicide at least three months prior to the group starting.
Most people experience shock when they lose someone to suicide, and it can take several months before they are able to share their experience and hear the experiences of others in a group setting.
Our experience shows that people get the most out of the sessions if they are not bereaved by the same person as someone else in the group. This means it is not possible to join a support group with a family member or friend. In order to get the most out of the group sessions, members are encouraged to talk about their experiences and feelings.
You can register your interest in attending one of our support groups by filling in the online form in the ‘Register’ section of our website, or, if you prefer, call 0208 939 9560 and one of our advisors will be able to fill in your details.
Once you have registered your interest, we aim to call you as soon as possible, at a time of your convenience, to give you all the information you need to help you decide if joining a groups is right for you. The call may come through on a blocked or withheld number. We will also give you more information on when groups are expected to start in your area, so you can plan them in around your other commitments.
If you have any questions about Facing the Future, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. or call 0208 939 9560 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Also, for more information, visit www.facingthefuturegorups.org