Stay in the sun when the sunshine is gone and you will see the sunshine lives within you
Sunflowers are now able to offer support to children and young people and their families after suicide loss.
Everyone in a family will be affected by a suicide, although in different ways, because of differing ages, stages of development and relationship with the person who died. The death, and consequent emotional responses and grieving, will affect how a parent or carer is able to talk with and respond to their children. Parents or carers may find it impossible to talk about suicide and may find their children’s questions intolerable.
In some cases children may not be given the information they need to make sense of or process what has happened, or conversations may be shut down.
Sunflowers children's support starts with the whole family. Providing an outside source of support, with relevant skills and experience in suicide bereavement is in our opinion an essential part of supporting children and ensuring that they have a voice. Enabling them to explore their own needs and articulate these to those adults around them is extremely important for them. Helping a family to develop openness around suicide will mean that the child is able to feel supported within the family unit in the future.
WHAT WE OFFER
An experienced Family Support Worker to take the strain and uncertainty away from parents or carers
Support which is tailored to your family needs and those of the child/ren.
Children are also welcome to attend our bereavement events and weekly walks alongside an adult parent or guardian.
WHAT WE ASK
Parents or carers support the child/ren in accessing support
It is important that children feel safe and comfortable when talking about suicide and our Family Support Worker will need to spend time building a relationship with the whole family
Young children will always need to be seen with a parent or carer; as what is important is for parents to think about how their child understands the death (or not) and what they can do to help their child.
ELIZABETH KOOLE -Bereavement practitioner, Sunflowers FAMILY SUPPORT WORK
To find out more about Liz, her skills and experience, please CLICK HERE.
During research for her Winston Churchill Fellowship and her time working alongside others who provide postvention support, Liz has learnt that the widely recognised professional experience of those who work in the field of child bereavement is that:
Children do want and need to know how someone has died.
Families that can talk in an open and honest way without secrets grow together in trust and understanding.
As a result of this children grow in maturity and personal understanding and are more able to successfully navigate difficult things that happen in the future. In other words they grow into resilient adults, which may protect them from some of the research findings that show the detrimental effect a bereavement by suicide can have on the wellbeing and mental health of a young person.
Children who find out about a suicide later in childhood often struggle with issues of trust, anger and identity, as they try and process their childhood years in the light of the new information.
The family support work and events Sunflowers offer are only open to families who are currently living in Gloucestershire and are bereaved by suicide. We regret that we do not have funding or resources to provide this service in other areas.
We do not charge to access this service, but if you wish to donate toward delivery of these, you can do so through our fundraising page, where you will find a DONATE button.
Please also complete our feedback form to help ensure the services we offer are beneficial and enable us to monitor how best to plan in for the future.