Suicide bereaved getting invaluable support

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THE Coleraine bereaved by suicide support group met last Tuesday to bring to a close the current round of meetings.

It meets on the second last Tuesday of each month in the Sandel Centre, Newbridge Road, Coleraine.

During each session families and friends bereaved by suicide have the opportunity to meet with other people bereaved by suicide, providing each other with support. The group is facilitated by a professional counsellor and art therapist.

Each session allows the group the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from others bereaved by suicide in a safe environment. At the end of each two hour session the group took part in art therapy.

The Bereaved by Suicide Project is an initiative put in place by the Northern Trust (funded by the Public Health Agency and developed through the Northern Area Promoting Mental Health and Suicide Prevention cross sector partnership) in recognition of the devastating effect suicide can have on family members and friends.

The project aims to generate awareness of the wide range of support organisations, individual counselling services and support groups available that people can turn to if they have been bereaved in this way.

This initiative works in partnership with Patchwork and is supported and funded through the Public Health Agency community based mental health and suicide prevention small grants administered through Causeway Rural and Urban Community Network.

Danielle Gallagher, Bereavement Support Worker said: “The group members were nervous at the beginning of the sessions, but everyone got a lot out of them.

“Some members felt the group helped them to learn new coping skills to enable them to adjust to life. The group will now take a break during July and August. The next session will begin in September.”

For more information on the support group or for one to one support if you or someone you know has been bereaved by suicide please contact Danielle on 028 2563 6607 or email Danielle.gallagher@northerntrust.hscni.net