Bereaved by suicide?

Suicide bereavement is a unique loss. It has been described as one of the most difficult and lonely experiences a person can have, being left with an overwhelming jumble of feelings and thoughts.

Your experience of grief is as individual as your fingerprint. Each person will be affected in his or her own way – even within the same family. Each had their own relationship with the person who has died, their own experience of other losses, and differing levels of support available to them.

People may also make assumptions that only close family grieve – you may have been a close friend, a work colleague, or maybe you were professionally involved in helping the person before they died – many, many people are deeply affected by a suicide.

Individual Support

Every Life Matters offers practical and emotional support at this critical and difficult time to people in Cumbria.

We offer One-to-One Support to people in thoe early weeks and months after a loss, and a Counselling Service for people who have been bereaved for at least six months.

When you contact us for help you will be offered an initial Gateway meeting, where we get to know you and your circumstances, and discuss what your support needs might be. After this we can offer further support sessions if needed, either in person, by telephone or online. Everyone has their own unique needs and the support we offer reflects this.

We are here to:

o Offer emotional support and a confidential listening ear, where you can talk openly about how you are feeling.

o Help you to understand some of the responses you might be having to bereavement

o Develop coping techniques to manage some of the impacts of grief.

o Inform you about other organisations that might support you and your family – now and in the future.

o Connect you with others who have lost a loved one to suicide.

o Advise you about talking to your children or telling others about the death.

o Provide information & support around the Coroner’s Inquest and other Investigations.

o Help you manage any media interest and coverage about the death.

o Support you managing practical issues around money, housing and employment.

o Support you with arrangements around the funeral.

o Help you identify and access other support, including for your mental health.

Though our support is focused in the first months after the bereavement, we want to be there for you in the long term.

We know that grief is a long and bumpy journey, particularly around anniversaries and other significant times, and you can contact us whenever you need to reach out for further support. And in turn we will reach out to check in with you as the months and years go by.

You can also explore with us meaningful ways to remember your loved one, doing something to help others in your position, or undertaking fundraising or other events to raise awareness about suicide. Many people find this a very important part of their journey.

If you would like to receive support, or find out more about how we might help you at this time, contact Paul and Vicki on 07588 016 166 or email

Suicide Bereavement Counselling

Our Bereavement Counselling service is available for people living in Cumbria who have been bereaved for at least six months and we offer up to 12 free sessions of counselling online, via zoom or teams. We can also offer in person sessions in Carlisle and in Whitehaven. 

For more information see our Suicide Bereavement Counselling page

Group Support

In 2024, we will be launching peer-led suicide bereavement support groups in Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal, Penrith, Carlisle, Maryport and Workington.

Our monthly peer support group meetings are an opportunity to meet others who have lost someone to suicide in a safe and confidential space. Our groups are a place where you can share your experiences and feelings, and give and gain support from each other. The groups run in various locations across Cumbria at set times every month and are supported by volunteers from Every Life Matters who have personal experience of suicide bereavement.

Penrith – 7:00-8:30pm on the 4th Thursday of each month 25/7, 29/8, 26/9, 31/10, 28/11 etc

Carlisle – 7:00-8:30pm on the 4th Tuesday of every month 23/7, 27/8, 24/9, 22/10, 26/11 etc

Kendal – 7:00-8:30pm on the 3rd Tuesday of every month 16/7, 20/8, 17/9, 15/10, 19/11, 17/12 etc

Barrow –  5:30-7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of every month 14/8. 11/9, 9/10, 13/11, 11/12 etc

Maryport – 7:00-8:30pm on te 4th Monday of every month 28/10, 28/11, 23/12 etc

Workington – Starting dates TBC

Find out more

Useful Guides

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

People who have been bereaved by suicide have used their experiences to lead development of this excellent support guide to help others affected by someone taking their own life.

Finding the Words will make you feel more comfortable about reaching out to someone bereaved by suicide.

Few people like to talk about death, and many of us feel awkward around someone who has been bereaved by suicide, even if they’re a good friend or close colleague. We want to help, but worry about saying the wrong thing. Sometimes we can put off contacting them, and before long it may seem too late to say anything at all.

By Your Side is a guide to a variety or charities and organisations that can offer you support, and outlines how Every Life Matters can support you and your loved ones.

First Hand is for anyone affected by being at the suicide when they did not know the person who has died. You may have happened to be at a particular location or your job may involve responding to incidents. You may have seen it happen or been first on the scene after a suicide. Regardless of how you were involved, this guide is for you.

Local support

We work along side a range of other local charities and organisations to support people bereaved by suicide.

Child Bereavement UK

Offering bereavement support to children and young people bereaved by suicide in Cumbria. National helpline: 0800 0288840. Cumbria: 01539 628 311

Cruse Cumbria

One-to-one listening support for people bereaved by suicide in Cumbria. Local Help Line: 0300 6003434

SBS Suicide Bereavement Support Cumbria

Peer support and group meetings in Cumbria for those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. Contact John on 0757 297 5721 or Karan on 0789 670 3757 (formerly SOBS Cumbria)

Coroners Court Support Service

Provide practical and emotional support to families bereaved by suicide at a coroners’ court. Helpline 0300 1112141 Mon-Fri 9am-7pm

Together We

Provide counselling and wellbeing support to people bereaved by suicide in West Cumbria

Time to Share Bereavement Service

Provide Play therapy support to children in Copeland. Your children’s school or support worker can make a referral to the service.

Helpline Support

Information and guidance for people bereaved by suicide and those supporting them.

SOBS UK – Call 0300 111 5065 – 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday – Support and guidance for people bereaved and affected by suicide.

Winstons Wish – Call 08088 020 021 – 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – Expert advice and guidance on supporting a grieving child or young person after the death of a loved one.

Samaritans – Call 116 123 – There round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Useful Websites

Support After Suicide – Information and guidance online and details of support services across the UK.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – Helpline, information/guidance online and support group network.

Winstons Wish – Guidance and information about supporting bereaved children and young people.