A new self help guide for people left bereaved through suicide has been launched in Wales, and has been strongly praised by the Minister for Health and Social Services.
Speaking at the launch of “Help is at Hand” Cymru, Mark Drakeford said:
“I would like to congratulate Public Health Wales and the National Advisory Group on Suicide for developing this excellent resource. It will provide invaluable solace and support to those who need it the most – those who find themselves in the tragic position of having lost a loved one through suicide."
Over 300 people die by suicide every year in Wales, and thousands are affected by losing a loved one, work colleague or friend. Mr Drakeford also acknowledged the role of frontline professionals, saying:
“Nurses, GPs, psychiatrists and ambulance staff – can be affected by such deaths and it is right they have access to support”.
"Help is at Hand” Cymru has also received support form Dick Moore, who recently spoke to Radio 4 about losing his son through suicide. Writing to Dr Ann John, the Swansea University professor who helped develop the guide for Wales he said:
“Help is at Hand is fantastic and timely. It may help those who are trying to find shelter from the storms of grief to learn to dance in the rain."
The guide was originally developed in England and has been adapted for Wales with the support of Mind Cymru and others. It is now being sent to frontline professionals across Wales and it is available for free download via the Public Health Wales website.
An edited version of the Radio programme featuring Dick Moore is available on the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22854301