Brighton and Hove parents asked ‘could your grief help others?’

Posted On 02 Oct 2015 at 10:30 am

Parents in Brighton and Hove who have suffered the loss of an adult child as a result of suicide are being asked to help improve the support services on offer to others.

They are being asked to take part in a ground-breaking new research project.

The study is being led by Emma Wadey, the director of nursing standards and safety at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

She is leading a study with parents across Sussex and Surrey. The aim is to ensure that the right help is available in the right way and at the right time for people when they need it the most.

Ms Wadey has been working with four mothers and one father and wants to widen her study and involve more parents.

She said: “Suicide is devastating. For every person who dies by suicide it’s estimated that there are between six and ten other people who are affected.

“But while there have been research studies done, these have largely concentrated on parents with young children who have died, children whose parents have died or spousal bereavement.

“This study will help professionals get a better understanding of a parent’s grief following the suicide of their adult child and the devastating effect this has on their lives.

“It will help professionals ensure that the right support is offered at the right time and in the right way.”

According to the World Health Organisation, someone somewhere in the world dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29.

One participant in the study said: “I am just surviving and I have a feeling my whole life will be like this.”

Another said: “I’ve had people step back from me. It’s like it’s contagious. They look at you differently.”

Ms Wadey is looking for parents who have lost an adult child within the past five years to join her study.

Taking part involves two face to face interviews and people can pull out at any time.

Ms Wadey is conducting her study through Surrey University and can be contacted at

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