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Plymouth event supports families affected by suicide

Around 20 Plymouth funeral directors have taken part in an event which hopes to give more guidance and support to families left grieving after their loved ones have taken their own lives.

The event, which forms part of the citywide Suicide Prevention Strategy, was hosted by Plymouth City Council’s public health team and local celebrant Wendy Coulton, who helped organise the workshop.

In addition, the event was used to announce that Pete's Dragons, an organisation which provides specialist support to those affected by suicide, will be providing a service in Plymouth.

Councillor Ian Tuffin said: "Our local suicide prevention partnership has been looking for ways in which we can ensure all those bereaved by suicide get the recommended information and support at the earliest opportunity.

"The idea is to seek partners to work with us to make sure this information is available to them through all possible routes and so we are delighted that the funeral directors in Plymouth have agreed to do this.

"We know that bereavement by suicide is particularly difficult and complex, so ensuring people are supported as early as possible is essential. We are also very pleased that Pete’s Dragons are now moving into the city to provide their expertise and support to local people.”

Celebrant Wendy Coulton, who helped with the organising of the workshop, said: "It is immensely heartening to know that all the funeral directors in Plymouth see the value of being the professionals who will give families in these very difficult and life-changing circumstances information about the specialist support available for them.

"It means that postcode will be irrelevant because everyone should receive the right information in a timely manner. From the outset the bereaved will know if and when they need advice or support how to get it. 

“Funeral directors and arrangers are best placed to take on this specific responsibility in support of the overall suicide prevention strategy and we are very grateful to them for their collaboration.”

The funeral directors were given information packs to benefit the families they will be supporting, and those who have signed up to this information sharing initiative include Co-op Funeralcare, Earls Dignity, James Brothers, Knapman Family, Walter C Parson, and Wyatt Brothers.


Celebrant Wendy Coulton (centre) with Sarah Lees (Plymouth City Council Public Health, left) and Pete’s Dragons CEO Alison Jordan

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