“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We all experience loss and grief in our lives but to be bereaved by suicide has been described as grief ‘with the volume turned up’ … that it tends to intensify our normal responses to loss.

Counselling isn’t a fix it – or a solution, it’s a safe space to explore those complex range of emotions. We often feel intense guilt, feelings of… ‘what could I have done’ …we often feel swings of anger rage, sadness about what has happened along with the despair, disbelief, depression, fear, and shame. Some people also experience suicidal thoughts when they have lost someone to suicide often a reaction to the pain they are experiencing

Our team of counsellors are chosen for their skill, expertise and understanding around suicide. We don’t offer counselling with students on placements or anyone underqualified, and all of our team are DBS Enhanced.

Navigating any bereavement can be difficult, when you lose someone to suicide it leaves behind questions that no one has the answer to. It is quite simply devastating, bewildering and can feel like you get caught in a tidal wave, often crashing up onto shore, only then to be dragged back out again, repeatedly experiencing the same emotions over and over.

Counselling can help you find sense in this world, is it your space. Safe, confidential, you can say what you’re really feeling and not be judged for it. No two people feel the same. Grief is not linear, it doesn’t go through the same set of stages, there are patterns of emotions and feelings, but journeys are not all the same and not everyone feels the array of emotions. Grief comes when it wants to and goes when it wants to.

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To access our counselling service, you will need an in-depth assessment. This can sound quite clinical, it isn’t meant to, but it is a time when our team can really get to understand your needs and
the circumstances around your bereavement. They can also gauge which counsellor in our team is best suited to your personality, and which modality of counselling will work best for you. Sessions are agreed with the counsellor and clinical lead and reviewed on an ongoing process.

Contrary to other counselling services, we believe that you can access counselling whenever you feel ready, so there is no time limit on when you can refer. We also provide counselling for the family, together or individually and we can access young people’s support too. The only criteria we place, is that you cannot be receiving any other professional counselling support, as this can be counterproductive.

We have put together some of the common Q&A’s we often get asked around counselling

Not everyone who has a bereavement will need or want counselling, but we know the complexity around suicide. It know it is different, there’s also no right or wrong way to grieve. Navigating suicide bereavement is not comparable, it is complex, bewildering and often feels like its ever changing. We believe that counselling keep you safe whilst you are working you way around the loss in your life. A counsellor will help unravel the thoughts, and pain and help explore a safe plan with you to navigate your way forward.

Our team have been trained in a variety of modalities. Not everyone outside the world of counselling understand the difference between CBT, person-centred or integrative, but the most important message is the counselling will focus on your needs. Our clinical lead can explain more. We have done the hard work in finding the best counsellors in this field so your don’t have to.

We don’t hold a waiting list, as soon as your referral has been received, within 3 working days you be contacted. We then ask for around 10 working days to complete your assessment and assign you to your counsellor. You will then book your first session directly with the counsellor at a time that suits you. We offer some counselling in the evenings but ask that you offer some flexibility. The number of sessions is reviewed as you progress, but we don’t set a limitation from the outset.

The majority of our counselling is over zoom, online. Because our counsellors are from al over the UK, not everyone can work face to face within Northamptonshire. WE do have some counsellors who will travel to you, and we have two locations where we can arrange sessions in therapy rooms. We can also agree a mutually safe place to meet such as a country park.

No, we consider all ages, no upper age limit and we use specifically trained young peoples counsellors for under 16.

We say it is down to you, there is no criteria that says you have to wait so long, or it’s been too long. Whatever is right for you.

All services at N-SAS are free to access.

AS an NHS funded service, we will record some data around your progress. We recognise that “outcomes” do not apply to suicide grief and have utilised a bespoke measure to impact how the grief affects you. We also ask some clients to be part of case studies, and be involved in focus groups so we can use the experiences to help shape and evolve the service.