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Support Service Launched For Forces Families Affected By Suicide

SSAFA has set up a new support group for military families dealing with the aftermath of suicide.

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Armed Forces charity SSAFA is launching a new specialist support service for military families affected by suicide.

Since January this year, 42 military personnel and veterans are reported to have taken their own lives.

In response, SSAFA is setting up a new, dedicated support group for families and friends who are trying to come to terms with the suicide of a loved one.

Earlier this year the charity reported more than an 11% increase in calls to Forcesline, a free and confidential helpline, from individuals linked to the military, facing negative, sometimes suicidal, thoughts.

SSAFA says a loved one taking their own life requires a specific type of bereavement support, different from that following a death during conflict or after an accident.

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The charity behind the support group says dealing with a suicide is not the same as a death in action (Picture: PA).

The new support group will give individuals the opportunity to share experiences, information, advice and a chance to meet others in the same position.

Sir Andrew Gregory, Chief Executive of the charity behind the group said: "It is a priority for SSAFA to support those left behind if a member of the military community takes their own life." 

"This is as devastating a loss as any other, and it’s our duty to help where we can with the processing of this grief.

“It is absolutely correct that a spotlight is being shone onto this issue, the shadow of grief from losing a loved one in this way can last a lifetime."

The first group will meet in March next year and is open to anyone in the family unit or friends affected by this type of loss.

You can find out more about the support on offer at the charity's website.