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Suicide and sudden death

The unexpected death of someone close to you, whether through suicide, accident, or homicide, can be devastating and may be very difficult to accept. 

When a sudden bereavement happens, there are some things that may help, both practically and to assist you and your family with the grieving process:

  • Asking to be kept informed of what’s happening by the relevant authorities such as the Coroner’s Office or the police Family Liaison Office. This can be crucial in dealing with the shock and disbelief. 
  • Having someone to talk to about what you’re experiencing. This might be a close friend or a
    family member but there’s also help available from organisations that specialise in supporting those who have experienced a sudden death:

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse offers online and telephone support with specific assistance on their website for traumatic loss. Their freephone helpline number is 0808 808 1677.

Sunderland Counselling Service

Sunderland Counselling Service offers bereavement counselling and runs a Bereavement Support Group. They can be contacted on 0191 514 7007 or emailed at

Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK offers one-to-one telephone support, by appointment for those that have suffered the loss of a child. They can be contacted as follows, from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm (except Bank Holidays).


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