The service, called Amparo, can support anyone who has been affected, whether this is family members, friends or work colleagues. The service provides support in a range of ways including one to one individual advice, help with media enquiries, support and guidance up to and including the inquest and signposting to further services.
Amparo will be delivered by Listening Ear and is supported by a multi-agency approach including South Yorkshire Suicide Prevention Group and Sheffield City Council.
The service for Sheffield is launched on Friday 31 January 2020 and can be accessed by calling 0330 088 9255, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through an online referral form available at www.listening-ear.co.uk.
Cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Sheffield City Council, George Lindars-Hammond said: “Amparo is a welcome addition to the bereavement services we provide in the city. With dedicated support to people affected by suicide, those who have lost loved ones will be able to receive specific practical help at the most difficult traumatic time and when needed the very most.”
Steve Thomas, Clinical Director (Mental Health) NHS Sheffield, said: “Someone dies by suicide every 10 days in our city. Suicide affects all age groups and communities in fact, few people escape being touched by the devastating effects of suicidal behaviour in their lifetime.
“The consequences of suicide are tragic and devastating and are estimated to have a direct impact on up to 60 people from family, work colleagues and wider community. Suicides are not inevitable. There are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society as a whole can help to prevent them.
“Sheffield is a city committed to a zero suicide approach. By this we mean we are a city that supports people through the difficulties they face and at times of personal crisis, with the aim that suicide is not ever considered. Sheffield is a city which builds individual and community resilience.
“If suicide does happen then by working with Amparo and Listening Ear we hope to provide better care, support and crucial information to those bereaved or affected by that suicide in a timely and accessible way.
Richard Brown, CEO of Listening Ear Merseyside which manages the Amparo service in Sheffield and beyond said: “Amparo is designed to offer support to people going through something which most of us find unimaginable. The process following a suspected suicide can be lengthy and complex. Amparo’s Suicide Liaison Workers are able to offer expert advice and guidance to support people through this time.
“We know that those bereaved by suicide are at much higher risk of suicide themselves, so it is crucial we are able to provide immediate help and support to those bereaved. Amparo can help with a lot of the practical issues that arise when suicide is suspected or confirmed.”
Staff at Amparo Sheffield will work with people for as long as the service is felt to be required. Where it will be helpful, links will be made with other support agencies to ensure that support continues.
The details of Amparo and information about the support they offer will be shared with all frontline workers who are most likely to be in contact with those affected by a suspected suicide including coroner’s officers, GPs, firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
You can find out more about Amparo and the services offered click here