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New Lowestoft support group for people bereaved by suicide

A national charity is launching a new Lowestoft support group for people who have been bereaved by suicides.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) was launched in 1991 and will launch a Lowestoft group on 14 October. The service provided by SOBS is free and offers indefinite support those people bereaved by suicide.

Each year in the UK, more than 6,000 people take their own life – each suicide has a devastating and lasting impact on their families, friends and communities.

Faced with a sudden, often unexpected and sometimes violent death, the bereaved experience a complex grief that typically includes strong feelings of guilt, self-reproach and questioning.

Those bereaved by suicide often feel isolated at a time when they are hurting, suffering mental anguish and are vulnerable themselves to thoughts of suicide.

Even those fortunate enough to have strong support networks can still feel alone, unable to share their true feelings for fear of their impact on others, particularly when they are also in a caring role for others who are bereaved.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who have been deeply affected by suicide. The emotional, quality of life and financial impacts are long lasting and wide reaching.

The launch is being supported by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney (HealthEast), Suffolk Coroner’s Office, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary and British Transport Police.

The SOBS Lowestoft support group launch event will be held at Orbis Energy Wilde Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1XH, at 4pm to 6.30pm on Tuesday 14 October.

Chris Lodge, who has been bereaved by suicide, said: “Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide is a national charity that exists to meet the needs of those bereaved by suicide.
It is crucial survivors do not become isolated or feel misunderstood during their grief.

"Statistically, survivors are far more likely to view suicide as a viable option than the average member of the public. Since 1991 our charity has kept thousands of survivors safe and only one survivor has died by suicide since we launched. It is clear the work of SOBS is vital if society wishes to tackle the secondary suicide figures in the UK.”

Gary Page, Chairman of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Suicides do leave a terrible emotional legacy for family and friends and it’s a tragic life event that can be difficult to come to terms with. The work of SOBS is crucial. We are committed to working with them to ensure we provide appropriate and consistent support for survivors and we welcome the opportunity to support the formation of this new group in Lowestoft.”

Andy Evans, Chief Executive of HealthEast, said: “The impact of suicide is wide reaching and we fully support the development of a Lowestoft support group for survivors of bereavement by suicide.” ​