Your questions answered
Who can attend the groups? Are there any restrictions?

Anyone over the age of 18 can register to attend a Facing the Future support group. 

However, you must have been bereaved by suicide for more than three months when the group starts. This is because we know that people may still be experiencing a high level of shock before this and find they’re unable to share their feelings or are too upset to be able to listen to the experiences of others. In order to get the most out of the group sessions, participants are encouraged to talk about their experiences and feelings.

Aside from this, the groups are open to people no matter how long ago they were bereaved and we know people who lost someone over 10- years ago have still found them useful.

What happens after I register? How committed am I at this point?

Once you register your interest we will give you a call using the information set out on your registration form to have a discussion with you about the groups.

We will confirm the information that you have provided, explain how the groups work and answer any questions that you may have. We will send you a confirmation email which will contain the dates of the group, the Zoom login details as well as the contact information for your facilitators. 

If you then feel the support groups are not right for you at this time, we will signpost you to other sources of support and remove your details from our system.

Will the people facilitating the group know how I feel? Have they lost someone to suicide as well?

​The Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Support volunteers facilitating the support groups may have been bereaved by suicide, however the focus of the group will be the experience of the participants. All facilitators will have received full training on how to support those bereaved by suicide.


Is what I say in the group private?

All information discussed in the group sessions is confidential to the group and no personal information is written down during the sessions. However, please note there may be instances where we may have to break confidentiality if we feel you or someone else is in danger.

Can I attend a group on behalf of someone else?

Supporting someone bereaved by suicide can be very hard, but attendance of the groups is experiential which means the bereaved person needs to be there to benefit from them. If you want to get support for someone else, please pass this information on to them and encourage them to contact us directly. 

Can I bring a friend with me?

The groups are closed and only members can attend, so a friend cannot attend the group with you. We know that attending a support group can feel scary but our facilitators are there to create a safe and non-judgemental environment that is comfortable for everyone. It is important that all group members feel they are with people who have similar experiences.

I and a family member/friend have both been bereaved by suicide. Can we attend the same group?

We don’t put members of the same family or two unrelated people who knew the same person who took their own life, in the same group. Our experience shows that if friends or family members attend the same support group they might not be able to express themselves fully, for fear of upsetting their friend or loved one.  

My group doesn’t begin for a while. Is there anyone I can speak to now?

If you need to contact someone while you are waiting to join a group, both Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Support are here for you speak to.

Samaritans' free to call number, 116 123is for people who are struggling to cope. This number is free to call from both landlines and mobiles and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

Cruse Bereavement Support National Helpline is open for information, advice and emotional support, from 9.30am to 5pm Monday and Friday and 9.30am to 8pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The number is 0808 808 1677 and is free to call. 

Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide (SoBS) have launched an online forum. This is an online community that offers peer-to-peer support for survivors of bereavement by suicide. Details about the forum can be found here.

Support After Suicide has details of organisations and individuals that are working across the UK to support people who have been bereaved by suicide. 

Help is at Hand  is is a guide that provides people affected by suicide with both emotional and practical support.  


Can I join a group half way through?

No, after the first session no one else can join the group.

What if I can’t make all of the group sessions?

We suggest you to join a group where you are able to attend at least five of the six sessions as you will get much more out of the experience this way. Multiple absences can upset the dynamic of the group and can be unsettling for other group members. You must attend the first session.

If you miss more than one session you will be asked to review your commitment to the group and whether this is the right time for you to attend.

I am unable to make a group session, who should I contact?

Prior to your group's first session we will send you the name and mobile number of one of your facilitators. In the event that you are unable to make a session for any reason you would send a message to your facilitator. If you do not turn up for a session without notifying us beforehand we will give you a call to see if you’re okay and still wish to participate in the group. 

What if I don’t get on with other people in the group?

Our facilitators have been trained to create a non-judgemental environment that is safe for everyone in the group. However, if you have any difficulties with another participant we encourage you to email one of the facilitators after the group session on ftf@cls.org.uk so that we can find a solution.

When the group finishes, what support is there for me?

As well as the organisations listed above, each group will have details of other organisations that may be of help.

What do I do if I have a complaint?

Should you have a complaint about the Facing the Future service please contact us via email ftf@cls.org.uk or telephone 0207 758 0667. We investigate all complaints thoroughly in accordance with Samaritans and Cruse Bereavement Support complaints policy.

Is the service evaluated? How do you know if you are making a difference?

After your group ends, you will receive an email from us including a link so you can give us feedback on your experience of the group. This feedback is anonymous in order to encourage everyone to give their opinion freely, and we structure the questions so that thanks to your input we can understand what impact the groups have had, evaluate different aspects of how the groups are run and learn from your comments to improve the service for future groups.