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Lowestoft support group launches new website

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2015

Suzy Clifford, who runs support groups for people who have been bereaved by suicide.

Suzy Clifford, who runs support groups for people who have been bereaved by suicide.

A Lowestoft support group for people bereaved by suicide has unveiled a new website.

The Lowestoft branch of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) provides free and indefinite support for those people bereaved by suicide.

It meets every first Tuesday of the month, between 7pm and 9pm in Lowestoft and also offers regular meetings, as well as telephone and email support.

Suffolk co-ordinator Suzy Clifford has set up three groups in the county after receiving vital help from the national charity after her husband Len died by suicide in 2009.

Keen to “provide a better service for survivors” across the county, Mrs Clifford launched the Suffolk SOBS group with a branch in Bury in March 2012.

Ipswich followed not long after and last October the Lowestoft group was launched at an event at OrbisEnergy, which was supported by a number of agencies.

“The constabulary, coroners office and NHS Foundation Trust are very supportive of what we are doing,” Mrs Clifford said.

“Its trying to change the stigma attached to suicide – it is not committed suicide, but by suicide.

“This needs to be changed and we are working on that to bring a better understanding of the language.”

A Suffolk SoBS petition has now been launched to “ban the term committed suicide from our language”.

It is online via https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106754

Mrs Clifford said: “This is an opportunity for survivors and non-survivors to unite and take the first steps to rid ourselves of the negative and out-dated language still used on a daily basis.

“Criminals commit crimes, suicide is not a crime – so stop saying ‘committed suicide‘ and start saying ‘died by suicide‘.

For further information, support or advice about the group and its work, email sobsburysteds@hotmail.co.uk or call the national helpline on 0844 5616855.

Alternatively visit the newly-launched website www.suffolk-sobs.org.uk

■ Have you got a Lowestoft story? Email mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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