SANE Australia has developed bereavement guidelines to help mental health professionals support the families and friends of mentally ill people who have suicided. The guidelines were created after research revealed families and friends of people with mental illness who had suicided were not receiving the support they needed, despite the fact people who are bereaved by suicide are at a much greater risk of health problems and suicide themselves.
SANE Australia suicide prevention project coordinator Sarah Coker said family and friends of mentally ill people who have suicided contend with an extra layer of complex emotions. Ms Coker said the guidelines were created for mental health nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health workers to use as a consistent approach to assist bereaved families.
SANE Australia offers bereavement guidelines, a mental illness and bereavement kit, and workshops to assist mental health services staff.