Table 2

Specific type of support used after bereavement

Participants bereaved by:Sudden natural
death (n=2106)
(n (% of exposure
group))
Sudden unnatural
death (n=712)
(n (% of exposure
group))
Suicide (n=614)
(n (% of
exposure
group))
Total (n=3432)
(n (% of total
sample))
Specific bereavement support reported*
 Formal support
  Health services (doctor, nurse, therapist, counsellor)283 (13)86 (12)83 (14)452 (13)
  Social services0 (0)0 (0)1(<1)1 (<1)
  Private counsellor or therapist171 (8)78 (11)73 (12)322 (9)
  Voluntary sector services (helpline, counsellor)120 (6)53 (7)51 (8)224 (7)
  Police officers77 (4)102 (14)45 (7)224 (7)
  Funeral directors359 (17)85 (12)51 (8)495 (14)
  Coroners’ officers130 (6)51 (7)35 (6)216 (6)
  School teachers or school counselling services28 (1)11 (2)9 (2)48 (1)
  College tutor or college counselling services34 (2)11 (2)19 (3)64 (2)
  Line manager or employee counselling services5 (<1)3 (<1)1 (<1)9 (<1)
  Subtotal formal support 1207 (57)480 (67)368 (60)2055 (60)
 Informal support
  Friends and family1349 (64)481 (68)370 (60)2200 (64)
  Spiritual/religious advisors40 (2)10 (1)10 (2)60 (2)
  Complementary and alternative medicine1 (<1)0 (0)0 (0)1 (<1)
  Subtotal informal support 1390 (66)491 (69)380 (62)2261 (66)
  Subtotal any formal or informal support 1573 (75)558 (78)441 (72)2572 (75)
 Other
  Self-help (website, book, leaflet)208 (10)61 (9)79 (13)348 (10)
  Specific source not specified23 (1)7 (1)6 (1)36 (1)
  Other (not classified as above)†3 (<1)2 (<1)1 (<1)6 (<1)
  Subtotal other 234 (11)70 (10)86 (14)390 (11)
 None
 Chose to handle it alone‡15 (<1)4 (1)1 (<1)20 (1)
 No help received§ (n(%))428 (20)129 (18)141 (23)698 (20)
 Specific support sought following any self-harm postbereavement¶
  None70 (63)34 (81)37 (66)141 (67)
  Friend18 (16)2 (5)8 (14)28 (13)
  Family member13 (12)3 (7)7 (13)23 (11)
  General practitioner25 (22)5 (12)12 (21)42 (20)
  Hospital professionals10 (9)1 (2)5 (9)16 (8)
  Counsellor9 (8)1 (2)4 (7)13 (6)
  Mental health team member2 (2)0 (0)3 (5)5 (2)
  Voluntary sector organisation1 (1)0 (0)0 (0)1 (<1)
  School/college teaching staff2 (2)0 (0)0 (0)1 (<1)
  • *Categories not mutually exclusive.

  • †Category included organisations such as the diplomatic service, shipping services (for repatriating the body) and employees at the deceased’s bank.

  • ‡Sixteen out of 20 people in this category also endorsed other sources of formal or informal support.

  • §Category excluded those who had used self-help and those who indicated they had chosen to handle the bereavement alone.

  • ¶In the n=210 individuals who had attempted suicide postbereavement; categories not mutually exclusive.