Your questions answered

***COVID - 19. What does this mean for Facing the Future? Please see statement here***
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, within the preference 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. If you then feel the support groups are not right for you at this time, we will not allocate you to a group. If however, you do still wish to join a group, we will tell you which groups are available nearest to you and their start dates, and offer you a place.
We will send you an email to confirm your place on the group as well as a reminder 3 days before the group starts.

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

The Samaritans and Cruse volunteers facilitating the support groups do not have to have been bereaved by suicide, but they have all 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.

Myself 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 in the same group.  We also try not to put two unrelated people that 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 Care are here for you speak to.

Samaritans has launched a free to call number – 116 123 – for people who are struggling to cope. This number is free from both landlines and mobiles.  People who are going through a difficult time will be able to access the service for free round the clock, every single day of the year. You can find out more about Samaritans here.
Cruse Bereavement Care 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. You can find out more about Cruse here.

Other sources of support: 
The Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership (SBSP)
 has details of organisations and individuals that are working across the UK to support people who have been bereaved by suicide. The list of member organisations of the SBSP can be found here.  
Help is at Hand
 is a Department of Health resource for those bereaved by suicide. You can download the document (PDF) here.

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?

In the event that you are unable to make a session for any reason please email info@facingthefuturegroups.org or ring 0208 939 9560, and leave a message with your name, number and location of the group you are currently attending. 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 speak to one of the facilitators at the end of the group session 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 any local and national 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 info@facingthefuturegroups.org or telephone 0208 939 9560. We investigate all complaints thoroughly in accordance with our complaints policy.

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

Samaritans and Cruse have commissioned an independent evaluation of the service to help them understand how well it is working, the difference it is making and what, if anything, needs to change in the future.  The evaluation will be carried out by Brightpurpose Consulting who specialise in evaluating new services and are very experienced at working with both service providers and service users. 
Brightpurpose will be working with Samaritans and Cruse to gather data through questionnaires and interviews over the next twelve months so if you join a Facing the Future group you may be asked to participate in the evaluation.  This could include:

Completing an online questionnaire before you start the group sessions, and then another one at the end of the six weeks 

Being asked to participate in a one-to-one discussion with a member of the evaluation team, either face-to-face or over the telephone after you have attended all of the group sessions

Your participation in the evaluation is entirely voluntary and even if you agree to participate in it you can change your mind at any time and stop.  If you do participate in some or all of the evaluation, any information you provide will be kept confidential and will be anonymised so that your responses cannot be identified to you.  Your information will be held securely and Brightpurpose will only use your data for the evaluation and no other purpose.
Brightpurpose, Samaritans and Cruse work to strict ethical guidelines at all time.
If you are asked to participate in the evaluation we would very much appreciate it if you would, as your feedback is important to help us develop this service for the future so that it can help those bereaved by suicide.  Just to re-emphasise though, participation in the evaluation is entirely voluntary and choosing not too will not affect your participation on the Facing the Future programme.  If you have any questions about the evaluation please e-mail us through info@facingthefuturegroups.org and we will answer your questions.