Suicide Bereavement has been described as ‘grief with the volume turned up’; it’s effects on families, communities and society as a whole are devastating and tragic.
Everyone affected by suicide will have a unique experience through the grieving process and it is extremely important that timely and appropriate support is available.
Pete’s Dragons provides a bespoke service to anyone in Devon who has been affected in this way.
The charity was founded by Alison Jordan after her brother, Pete Wicks, took his own life in 2010 at the age of 24.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Pete’s Dragons helps by providing resource packs tailored specifically to families’ needs; offer a listening service and also practical advice and help on issues ranging from how to inform others of a death to dealing with the media, wills and probate, applying for benefits, funeral arrangements and inquest guidance.
We run children and family fun days; grief recovery courses;
bereavement counselling and liaise with other appropriate support services.
Our families also benefit from mindfulness through play and regular workshops and learning events focused towards emotional and physical wellbeing. We also offer Christmas Hug in a Hamper and Comfort Grant options to both break through the stigma and isolation often felt after a suicide and assist those in financial distress.
Families can also enjoy a break in our holiday home in Exmouth, where they can relax and begin the process of building new and positive memories.
We are able to provide grants to help the bereaved purchase items or services which may be of help as they journey through the emotional and financial difficulties experienced after a suicide. As much as Pete’s Dragons strives to support to families, it would be so much nicer if suicide rates were zero. We also want to offer preventative services and, as such, we provide ASIST, SafeTALK and SuicideTALK training.
What are your current priorities?
Providing suicide bereavement support across the whole of Devon. We cover three areas (South, North, Mid/East) and need to cover the fourth (Plymouth).
We are constantly striving to generate sustainable funding streams in the absence of any statutory funding for suicide bereavement.
Pete’s Dragons is continuing to raise the profile of suicide prevention initiatives within a series of communities which are fearful to engage with the issue.
What challenges are you currently facing?
Covering such a large and rural geographical area and maintaining our ethos of providing a bespoke service to each individual in a timely and appropriate manner in the absence of statutory funding. It is a constant and major challenge to find a balance between providing our valued services and generating the required revenue to keep it going.