Core Standards for Suicide Bereavement Support Services

Welcome to the Central Hub

We have put together this hub to provide quality evidence, best practice guidance and professional support for all those involved in planning and delivering suicide bereavement and liaison services.

The information you will find here is only the beginning, the Central Hub Team can also offer you more bespoke support through our contact page.

We hope you find your time here helpful and informative.

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  • What is the Central Hub?

    The Central Hub exists to provide quality evidence, best practice guidance and professional support for all those involved in planning and delivering suicide bereavement and liaison services. Whether you are a service provider, commissioner, or an organisation along the bereavement pathway, we’re here to provide you with information, resources, and support. This website is the ‘face’ of the Central Hub, where you can find information on Developing an effective suicide bereavement service, on developing fundraising proposals for a proactive service, case studies, examples of best practice, a library of resources, and much more. We also offer some bespoke services, and will in time offer these through the website. For more information on these, please contact us.

  • What is the NHS Long Term Plan?

    NHS England published its Long Term Plan on 7th January 2019, which outlined its intentions for services in the next 10 years. The plan includes a significant commitment to suicide bereavement support; 

    • post-crisis support for families and staff who are bereaved by suicide, through the NHS 111 helpline system (page 70, paragraph 3.97)
    • Suicide bereavement support for [bereaved] families, and staff working in mental health crisis services in every area of the country (page 72, paragraph 3.106)       

    The Central Hub is supported by NHS England, and has been set up in turn to help support localities involved with implementing the Long Term Plan. If you have any enquiries about the Long Term Plan, please contact NHS England, or use our contact form and we will do our best to direct you.

    NHSE Long Term Plan
    Find out more from NHS England
    Contact Us

  • Tell me more about Real Time Surveillance
    Real time surveillance is one element of the concept Real Time Data. It refers to the collection of anonymised data across an area, to map a picture of what is happening in that area. It can be used to identify clusters in methods or locations of suicides, or perhaps in a certain demographic of people. It has been used to rapidly respond to trends in suicide and is vital to effective suicide prevention.  

    The other element of Real Time Data is Real time Referral; the collection of data about a person who is accessing suicide bereavement services. This is done with consent from the individual and may be taken by police and passed on to suicide bereavement support services, to facilitate proactive support. The information may include the name of the person, how they have been bereaved, and any support they might need. Real Time Referral is vital for providing proactive support.

    To find out more about developing real-time data (surveillance and referral), you can visit our resource hub, or

    read the Real Time Surveillance page
  • What do good services have in common?

    The best services are developed and delivered according to each area’s unique needs and demographics. We can, however, identify a number of common factors that all services should have at their core:

    • A single/lead point of contact
    • Involvement at all stages of those with lived experience
    • Proactive contact with the bereaved family, within 72 hours of the death
    • Non-judgemental emotional and practical support
    • Support with the Inquest and legal process
    • Referral to specialist support services where needed
    • Contact and support for the long term, following the bereaved person’s journey and needs
    • Support from and contact with a multi-agency network including frontline services, local services and councils, hospitals, GPs, schools, the Police, Coroners, and other organisations along the bereavement pathway.
  • Why is it important to include lived experience?
    Being impacted by suicide is a devastating and unique bereavement. It can be frightening, isolating, and evoke complicated grief reactions. Lived experience involves anyone who has been impacted by suicide. Everything we do to ensure timely and appropriate support must be informed those with experience of this. They must be at the root of what informs thinking and practice. People with lived experience of suicide bring insight, knowledge and perspective that is critical to informing the best approaches to suicide prevention, including bereavement support.  People with a lived experience of suicide are critical to informing us of what is needed to reduce emotional pain and empower people to live through their bereavement.
  • What does a successful bid look like?

    Just like a service model, a good bid will be based on local evidence and need. Our experience shows that there are a number of common headings that should be used to create a compelling picture of need when putting together your funding bid. Just a few of these are below, but the hub has much more detail on funding proposals here.

    • Area covered by your bid; population and demographics, data on suicide rates, expected demand for the service.
    • Governance and delivery; structures and scope for the service, with model of delivery outlined where possible. Funders will pay particular attention to evidence of multi-agency partnership in the scoping, delivery and governance of a service.
    • Lived experience; outlining how your service will involve and include bereaved people in all facets of its work.
    • Real Time Surveillance; your current or planned ways of working with police and coroner’s offices to use Real Time Data
    • Leadership; bio and experience of those in a leadership role within the service
    • Evidence of local commitment; it is essential to show how the service will fit into the current landscape in your area, with the support of those agencies and organisations that will be essential to success.
    • Sustainable funding plans; ways of ensuring a sustainable and long-term service
    • Monitoring an evaluation; not an add-on, but a vital part of any service delivery model, using Public Health England’s guidelines as a baseline