We recognise that working through loss of a loved one to suicide can be really hard. Suicide loss is devastating and can be complex and distressing, especially when you feel stuck. That is why we are now offering time-limited counselling to provide a safe space to work through your grief.

Our Counselling Service offers up to 12 free to access sessions of bereavement counselling, delivered online via zoom or teams or in person in Carlisle and in Whitehaven.

You can apply by completing the online application below. We will be in touch within 7 days to discuss your application and to agree a date to start dependent on capacity.  We will endeavour to support you when we can or alternatively signpost you to other support.

Our Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be bereaved by suicide to access our service
  • You must be over the age of 18
  • You must be a resident of Cumbria
  • You must not be receiving any other professional counselling support at the time as this could be counterproductive
  • We do not accept applications or begin counselling sessions within the first 6 months after your bereavement.

When to Apply

Bereavement counselling is most helpful when you feel ready and have time to talk about your loss for several sessions.  This can often be too overwhelming in the first few months and hence we recommend that you don’t start sessions too early in your bereavement journey and consider starting your first session around the 6 months after your loss.

We are here to offer our support before then via our early response service, where we can begin to support you both emotionally and practically and from this you may decide that counselling is an option for you.

We recognise that everyone’s situation is different and for some people counselling can really be beneficial but for others it may not be.  If you are unsure then please make contact and we can discuss your needs further.

See our FAQs at the bottom of the page for more details.

Bereavement Counselling Application Form

You are completing an application to receive suicide bereavement support from ELM, a registered charity.  Our counselling service supports people who have been bereaved by suicide for at least 6 months.  If you have been recently bereaved then please see our webpage for information on our early response service or information on a range of support services. Please complete all fields and include as much information as you can to help us understand how we can best support you.If you have any questions or would like help filling out the form, please email support@every-life-matters.org.uk. Alternatively call Paul on 07588 016 166.

Please check all that apply

By clicking Submit you are consenting to Every Life Matters processing and storing your information, including special category data, if you meet the eligibility criteria for counselling.

Your contact details will only ever be shared internally and with relevant person i.e. your counsellor and ELM staff directly involved who may contact you by phone and by email when needed in order to discuss your application, your assessment, or your counselling sessions. This may also include contact by voicemail. For full details of how we manage your data see our Privacy Policy.

FAQS – Suicide Bereavement Counselling Service

Why do we offer counselling?

Bereavement by suicide can cause many different symptoms and can impact people in very different ways.  There’s no right or wrong way to feel and navigating it can be really hard, especially if you are on your own and find it hard to talk to those around you.

The grief process can be complex and involve many painful emotions and having a safe space via a counselling relationship can help you understand any complex and painful emotions and help you develop coping strategies and way of being with your loss that helps. We often talk about finding a way to be or to carry your loss so that it isn’t painful all of the time.

What kind of counselling do you offer?

We provide one to one Bereavement counselling rather than group counselling.  This is with a trained counsellor who can give you a safe space to understand and navigate your grief, explore your thoughts and feelings and support you to find a way of being with your grief that is helpful and supportive.

We ideally like to see you face to face in a private and accessible room and have two locations we can book in Carlisle and Whitehaven.  If the distance is too much of a barrier then we can look to offering online sessions via a secure Zoom account.

How many sessions do you offer?

We are currently able to offer up to 12 sessions. Different people have different needs when it comes to counselling, so exactly how many sessions you need will be a discussion between you and your counsellor. We will agree a contract around session length and review this as we go and there may be scope to extend by mutual agreement.

Who delivers the counselling?

Paul our Bereavement Support Manager at ELM is the main counselling practitioner.  In the event of not being able to offer you counselling, then we will try to signpost you to other services in the area.  Paul holds a Psychotherapeutic Counselling Diploma and is a registered member of the BACP. Paul receives regular supervision as part of ensuring that clients are kept safe and supported.

Paul is our Bereavement Support Manager and has supported many individuals who have experienced loss by suicide and offers a compassionate and person-centred approach to clients and will seek to bring his skills, experience and knowledge of supporting bereaved clients within a counselling relationship.

Can I apply if I am under 18?

No, we are only able to offer counselling to people over the age of 18.  If you or someone you care for is under 18 and needs support, you can find some helpful links on our website, or seek help from organisations like Child Bereavement UK or Timetoshare Bereavement Services in Copeland. (Put there details in here)

How long will I have to wait for counselling once I apply?

How long you have to wait could depend on the demand at the time you apply, but we will always aim to respond within 7 days of your application to let you know it has been received and let you know if there are any potential waiting time.  In the event of a long delay, we will endeavour to signpost where we can to alternative services.

I lost someone to suicide a long time ago, can I still apply?

At ELM we understand that there is no set end date to when you might need to reach out and ask for help, so you can apply for help even if it has been a long time since you lost someone.

Do I have to pay for counselling?

No, we believe that everyone should be able to access help regardless of their means, so counselling sessions are provided for free. However, if you are able to voluntarily contribute towards the cost – then any amount from £0 to £30 per session would be welcome to ensure that we can continue to cover the cost of the service. As a registered charity all our funding comes from individual donations, group fundraising and grants.

We can accept donations through JustGiving

If you need any help with your application then please email support@every-life-matters.org.uk