A contract to provide support to people who have been bereaved by suicide has been awarded by Warwickshire County Council to The Kaleidoscope Plus Group. The two-year contract has been awarded to the health and wellbeing charity to deliver the Suicide Bereavement Support Service until at least March 2020.

The initiative will see fortnightly meetings held at venues across all five districts of the county and will specifically aim to help those bereaved by suicide to start to cope with their loss and find support from others who have experienced a similar loss.

In Coleshill planned to commence on Wednesday 18 July at The Hub which is a community space within the council building on the High Street. There is a launch planned at the same venue on the Wednesday 11 July between 1.45pm to 4pm.

Alan Savill the Suicide Bereavement Support Service Coordinator at the Kaleidoscope Plus Group, said: “Suicide bereavement is unlike no other. There is no recognised grief path and can prove very difficult for those left behind after such a tragic death.”

Alan went on the explain how through his own experience, he believes the new service can be a massive help.
He said: “My son took his life just before Christmas in 2012 and I remember the knock on the door from the police vividly and how my life’s changed since that date, but I have used my own experience to help others.
“When I speak to attendees and say that I know how they feel has proved to be invaluable to others.
“The feeling of isolation, guilt, shame and despair can be overwhelming, however these groups are designed to help with these feelings and give the opportunity to meet with others going through the same feeling so they are not alone.
“I’m honoured to be able to run the service as when I lost Ian there wasn’t really anything out there for me”

The service will initially consist of self-help meetings but The Kaleidoscope Plus Group have the ability to identify other service user needs and can either offer bespoke psycho-educational courses or signpost them to other providers in order to help with a recovery plan.
Paula Mawson, Commissioning Lead for Public Mental Health at Warwickshire County Council said: “Ensuring that people who have been bereaved by suicide in Warwickshire receive timely and effective support is a priority for us. The Kaleidoscope Plus Group is a leading mental health and wellbeing charity, and we look forward to working with them to bring this new service into the county.”

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group Director of Operations, Claire Dale, said: “This is a really positive step forward in supporting people across Warwickshire who have been affected by a loved one, friend or colleague taking their own life. We are well aware that people bereaved by suicide will benefit from support which is tailored to their individual needs, and it will be a unique chance for people to share their feelings in a safe space with others who have been similarly affected.”

As the contract is mobilised updated information will be available on the Warwickshire Mental Health and Wellbeing webpage: https://warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth and The Kaleidoscope Plus Group website: http://www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk/our-services