Norfolk suicide bereavement support group
Norfolk has the highest suicide rate in East Anglia and a Norfolk bereavement support group is appealing to Christians to help support its work, writes co-ordinator Norman Smith.
Together with a group of colleagues I established the Norfolk Suicide Bereavement Support Group some 20 years ago. This group is where family and friends of those who have taken their own lives can meet with each other and share experiences and concerns and, hopefully, find comfort in meeting with others who had been similarly bereaved.
Over the years it became apparent that there was a feeling amongst the group that their loved ones might have been helped if they could have received one-to-one help from someone outside their family and professional staff.
So early last year Lifeline was established. This is made up of a small team of helpers who answer the telephone 24 hours a day to speak to those in distress. Yes, there are other help-lines but what we offer is the chance to speak to the same person and thus not have to repeat time after time what is troubling a caller. This type of support also results in continuity and understanding which is the type of help those bereaved suggested.
Norfolk has the highest rate of suicides in East Anglia and this is one of the reasons Lifeline was established. We have been helped by two grants and a few donations which help to cover our running costs but all our volunteers give their time freely.
What we now need is as much publicity as possible. If anyone reading this can help publicise the work of Lifeline and the Group through local publications this would be much appreciated.
Suicide is a tragic waste of life, more often as not of a young person. Following each suicide there are family and friends who are totally devastated. Should anyone be interested in joining our team or would like someone to speak to a group of people, please make contact with me at the number below.