Job Description Suicide Liaison Service Lead

This document has been put together to give you an overview of what a job description for a Suicide Liaison Lead might look like, and the core skills and competencies that might be needed to fulfil the role.

It is intended as a guide only, and should be tailored to your localities’ needs. It is based in evidence, on the job descriptions of existing services in the UK.

Rates of pay will vary according to organisations and localities, but it is recommended that the required skills and competencies fall within NHS England Pay Scale Band 6 & 7 depending on experience and qualifications


To deliver a trauma-informed postvention support service to individuals bereaved by suicide including family members, close friends or partners, colleagues etc.  Appropriate psychological support would include psycho-education (information giving), assessing risk and monitoring for symptoms of trauma (including secondary trauma); to providing information and signposting to organisations that might be able to meet practical needs that arise following a death.


Supporting people impacted by suicide

  • Ensure the bereaved are contacted within 72 hours, followed by a face-to-face meeting in order to:
    • Carry out an initial assessment of individual need;
    • Assess for risk and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder;
    • Ongoing monitoring through regular monthly contact up until the inquest, through face-to-face visits (including support by telephone or email);
    • Advocate on behalf of the bereaved where necessary and liaise with relevant agencies.
  • Develop a collaborative alliance with other agencies e.g. the Police and Coroner’s staff in order to support the bereaved effectively through legal proceedings which may include NHS Serious Incident investigations, Duty of Candour meetings with NHS services, the Child Death Overview Panel (when a young person under 18 years has died), and involvement with other statutory agencies, offering to attend inquests with the bereaved where it is practical and that support is requested.
  • Communicate effectively with GPs, local NHS mental health community teams, and IAPT service providers in the locality where the bereaved live, in order to make appropriate and effective referrals, e.g. for trauma focused therapy in line with NICE guidelines to the appropriate primary or secondary mental health provider.
  • Where no suicide bereavement support groups exist, liaise with local third sector agencies to develop this type of support, or develop plans for the service to facilitate this option which should be informed by the national Guidelines for Delivering Bereavement Support Groups (available on this site).

Organisation Duties

  • Provide line managerial support to staff working in the field.
  • Ensure confidential client data is recorded securely and accurately in line with the organisation’s clinical governance and confidentiality policy.
  • Organise and promote events, in collaboration with other agencies, to publicise and raise awareness of suicide postvention.
  • Attend regular training and supervision.

Local and National Oversight

  • Liaise regularly with local third sector organisations as well as national agencies, e.g. The National Bereavement Alliance, the Support After Suicide Partnership, The National Suicide Prevention Alliance, etc. in order to be well-informed and up-to-date on developments in research and practice in suicide prevention and postvention.
  • Provide training and workshops on suicide bereavement where required.
  • Be an active member of a local Multi-Agency Suicide Prevention Group, attending “live” Suicide Surveillance meetings if these have been developed in the area where the service exists as part of the local Suicide Prevention Strategy.

Key skills and requirements


  • Relevant work-related experience with a professional qualification and registration in one of the following disciplines:
    • Mental Health Nursing (RMNH)
    • Counselling (BACP Registered)
    • Occupational Therapy
  • Knowledge and understanding of complicated grief and the potential impact of the traumatic response that may be experienced by suicide bereavement 
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain boundaries within a professional environment.
  • Experience of lone working; understanding issues relating to personal safety for self and others
  • Computer literacy and record keeping in line with organisational guidelines
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Equality Act in order to deliver a service without discrimination.


  • Knowledgeable about national and international academic research making the link between suicide prevention and postvention.
  • Trauma informed training
  • Good working knowledge of mental health service providers and other third sector agencies in the area where the service is to be delivered.
  • A clean driving license (in some areas this is essential)
  • University degree in relevant subject
  • BACP Accreditation
  • Bereavement skills training
  • Recent up-to-date training in suicide prevention e.g. ASIST or similar
  • Counselling skills (if this is not the applicant’s core training)
  • Experience with service evaluation and meeting targets set by service commissioners
  • Aware of cultural and Faith issues which may be relevant specifically to the demographics of the area where the service will be delivered.

Please be aware you will be required to pass Enhanced DBS clearance