Launch of new Bassetlaw support group to help families bereaved by suicide

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A woman whose husband took his own life has launched a new Bassetlaw bereavement support group for families whose relatives have taken their own lives.

Vicky Waring who lost husband Tony, in December 2017 held an open day for the local branch of Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide (SOBS) and is preparing for the group’s first meeting on the last Tuesday of this month.

Mrs Waring came up with the idea of setting up a local branch of SOBS after struggling to access the right services when navigating her own grief.

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She said: “We had a really good turn out at the launch event. It was a chance for people to come along and find out what the support group is all about and how it is going to work. It was a chance to put people’s minds at ease and for other partner agencies and other volunteers to find out more about us.

Vicky Waring has launched new support groupVicky Waring has launched new support group
Vicky Waring has launched new support group

"I am pleased that at a local level it has been acknowledged and recognised that there is absolutely a need for a group like this.

"There’s still more to be done locally but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

The location and time of the confidential meeting is not being made public to allow people who want to access this service to do so discreetly.

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Those wanting to find out the details can access them by emailing [email protected].

Mrs Waring said: “We want people to be able to come along and access support in a very non judgement setting, and share stories without stigma.

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"All of us who volunteer have been bereaved by suicide so we know about the grief the journey so we’re not going to turn around and make any judgments on how people are feeling or on their behaviour irrelevant of time frame.

"This is not just a group for those who have been recently bereaved by suicide it is also for those who have lost someone in these circumstances, 10, 20 years ago because we know that althought time may have passed these people will still be grieving and may still need support.

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"Grief is an open ended process and we recognise that because of the stigma surrounding suicide some people will have never spoken about their grief or had access to a service like this as it just wasn’t available at that time.

"This support group could be a really cathartic experience for people who have been dealing with their grief for decades, a chance for them to get things off their chest that they never have before."

The new group is among a number of initiatives launching in the area after Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed more than £4 million is being invested in mental health services in the region over the next few years.

The investment comes after it was revealed South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw has a higher suicide rate than the English average, with Bassetlaw suicide rates currently the highest in the whole of Nottinghamshire.

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Mrs Waring added: "People who have been bereeaved by suicide are 60 per cent more likely to take their own life so it’s important that services like this are available to offer support.

"Some people might not want to access the group locally through fear of bumping into someone they know so we want to make sure people know they can come along to other groups in other areas if it suits them, the whole idea is people can access any group anywhere."

Mrs Waring and daughter Chloe’s world was turned upside down following the death of Mr Waring and believes that SOBS could help local families struggling with their grief.

Email [email protected] to find out details of the meetings.