Support groups for people bereaved by suicide
Facing the future provides safe online support groups for people bereaved by suicide where they can talk through their feelings with others who have similar experiences.
The service has been developed since its inception in 2011, following recognition that those bereaved by suicide had little specialist support available. Initially Facing the Future was set up as a joint venture between Samaritans (Central London Branch) and Cruse Bereavement Care (Kensington and Chelsea Branch) which combined their relevant expertise to form face-to-face support groups. These made a real difference to those experiencing bereavement through suicide, and the service expanded to form groups in selected areas across the UK. Now the service is run by Central London Branch of Samaritans and is delivered exclusively online (via Zoom) to all parts of the UK and Ireland.
What are Facing the Future Groups
Facing the Future support groups give our participants the opportunity to meet others (on Zoom) who have lost someone to suicide, and to share their experiences and feelings. Each support group is run by two specially-trained volunteers with previous experience in their parent organisation. The emphasis is on peer-to-peer support by the participants; the facilitators do not set an agenda, do not offer advice and do not provide counselling.
The closed online groups meet at the same time each week over six consecutive weeks (with different groups starting on different days of the week/different times of the day), and each session lasts for 90 minutes. There are around eight participants in each group and sessions are free of charge.
It is important that all participants in a group are able to attend the first session, and we would hope that they can attend the other five as well in order to get the most out of the experience.
If you would like to register your interest in joining a Facing the Future group on Zoom, please visit our 'Register' page.
What are the groups like?
Below are two short videos explaining what Facing the Future groups are like. The top video is by Rosie, one of our facilitators; the bottom one is by David, a former participant.
What makes Facing the Future groups special?
People who are grieving because of suicide can feel very alone, suffering from a kind of loss they feel others may not understand. Even with supportive family and friends, participants find it helpful to talk with others who have experienced a similar loss. Participants have told us how helpful it has been to be in a safe environment with people who are all trying to cope with similar issues - this helps them feel less isolated and better understood.
Participants tell us they feel safe in the group and feel free to express themselves with others who are also grieving as a result of suicide.
Participants in a group support one another and help each other to come to conclusions that often lead to acceptance and increased hope for facing the future. In all feedback we receive, participants say that they would recommend our groups to others.
Participants feel they are listened to in a respectful environment. Even when participants are sharing things they may never have said out loud before, there is a non-judgemental and supportive atmosphere.
Are you Interested?
You can register your interest in attending our support groups by completing the online form on the ‘Register’ page. Within a few weeks, a facilitator will make contact by phone to talk about the groups and work out with you whether joining a Facing the Future group would be right for you at this time.
There is no obligation for you to take your application forward, but we would be grateful if you would let us know if at any point you do not feel it is right for you by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org