I’ve been a mental health nurse for 30 years and have worked in various fields of psychiatry, specialising in suicide and self-harm over the last 14 years. I work across adult and older adult age groups delivering training, supporting individuals and teams with complex cases involving suicide risk, supporting research and quality improvement work and leading on the Trust suicide prevention strategy. Clinically I work in psychiatric liaison, specifically with people who present to the Emergency Department with mental health needs (this is predominantly self-harm and suicidality).
Experiences and Support Needs of Adults in England who Care for Adults they consider to be at Risk of Suicide: A Research Study
There are around 5,500 suicides each year in England and Wales. Estimates suggest that for each suicide there are at least 20 suicide attempts. Many more people experience suicidal thoughts and may come close to acting on these. Society and the healthcare systems therein rely heavily on non paid informal carers to support individulas at risk of suicide. Invariably these informal carers are family members or friends. Given the high numbers of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts and behaviours we can safely assume there are many, many informal carers in England alone.
Research suggests that all too often informal carers' voices are not heard and their needs are not met. In order to work towards changing this to ensure carers are given the support they need it is important we understand their caring experiences and associated support needs.