A service which provides support to those bereaved by a suspected suicide has been commissioned in more areas across Lancashire, offering vital support to local people thanks to national funding aimed at preventing suicides in the region.
The support provided by AMPARO is already helping local people in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Burnley and has now been commissioned in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. AMPARO can support anyone affected by a suspected suicide, this can be family members, friends or colleagues. The service provides support in a range of ways including one to one individual support, help with media enquiries, support and guidance up to and including the inquest and signposting to further services.
Louise Thomas, Suicide Prevention Lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “AMPARO offers an invaluable service to people going through something which most of us find unimaginable. The process following a suspected suicide can be lengthy and complex, AMPARO are able to offer expert advice and guidance to support people through this time.
“In Lancashire and South Cumbria we have one of the highest rates of suicide in the country and we know that those bereaved by suicide are at much higher risk, therefore it is crucial we are able to provide immediate help and support to those bereaved.”
Andrew McGinty, Mental Health Co-ordinator at Lancashire Constabulary said: “Police officers are often the first people in contact with family members of those suspected to have died by suicide and it is vital officers know what support is available and how to support families at such a distressing time. We are now able to immediately refer those bereaved to the AMPARO service meaning support can be offered at an early stage.”
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 GPs, firefighters, paramedics and police officers.
The service is one of nine pilots funded by NHS England to help prevent suicides in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
You can find out more about AMPARO and the services they offer on their website:www.listening-ear.co.uk/amparo