Are you an NHS worker who has been affected by the suicide of a colleague? Would you like to take part in a research interview with University of Birmingham researchers? 

Between 2016 and 2019, the latest year in which data are available, an average of 10.6 people died by suicide for every 100,000 people in England and Wales; 23,687 people in total. Amongst health professionals, the suicide rate is 24% higher than the national average, largely explained by the increased risk of suicide of female nurses, male paramedics and female doctors. Suicide amongst female nurses is four times higher than the national average. Those affected by suicide are at greater risk of mental ill health and suicide attempt themselves.

Past research shows that if people affected by suicide receive support early on, it can help them come to terms with their loss and reduce the risk of further mental health problems and suicide. This is called postvention. It is therefore important that NHS staff receive the best support at the right time.

The full impact of experiencing a suicide on staff who work in health settings is unknown and there is currently no postvention guidance or benchmark standard to assist NHS organisations or managers to support staff. Our research will address the gap in knowledge by using the experiences of staff to build a better understanding of postvention need.

The NHS is a unique place to work that requires distinct, evidence-based solutions to the needs of its staff. This study will seek to understand the impact on, and support needs of, NHS staff following a colleague’s suicide. This research is being conducted by a multidisciplinary team who include NHS staff who have been impacted by the suicide of a friend or colleague.

You can find out more information about the study here: Identifying the impact on and support needs of NHS staff following a colleague's suicide: A study to inform postvention guidance

If you are interested in taking part, contact study researcher, Hilary Causer

If you have any questions about this research, please contact the Chief Investigator, Ruth Riley:

You can follow our study progress on Twitter @NHSPostvention

A multidisciplinary team of researchers in clinical settings, academia and the charity sector as well as front-line medical staff have developed this project. It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.