Anne Embury's Story

Author: Anne Embury
Anne Embury's Story

Anne Embury travelled to New Zealand and Australia to research the development of bereavement-by-suicide support groups.

The Fellowship

Anne Embury is the suicide liaison lead at Outlook South West, a provider of mental health services in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, delivering the first NHS-funded suicide bereavement service in England.  

During her four-week Fellowship, she met with leading Australian postvention experts who have developed a national framework for the delivery of groups for people bereaved by suicide, providing recognised standards for facilitators which have been adopted by the World Health Organisation and the American Association for Suicide Prevention.

She also visited New Zealand, spending time with Public Health in Wellington as well as meeting with Chris Bowden at Victoria University in Wellington who developed the WAVES course, a structured grief education programme for people bereaved by suicide which is now funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health and delivered across the country.

The Results

Following her Fellowship, Anne shared her findings at Manchester University’s National Suicide Bereavement Conference as well as the National Suicide Prevention Alliance Conference in February 2016.

With Outlook South West, she developed an eight-week grief education programme, drawing on evidence from the World Health Organization as well as the work of Lifeline in Australia and the WAVES programme. A number of courses in Cornwall have now been held across the County as part of a community postvention strategy, and an evaluation of results over the first year showed an improvement in the functioning and wellbeing of participants.

Anne now plans to work with organisations such as the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and the Suicide Bereavement Support Partnership to promote the adoption of the World Health Organisation’s national standards and guidance for group facilitators. She hopes to see a nationally-agreed level of training introduced, in order to encourage the third sector organisations who deliver this type of group work to aspire to best practice.