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More questions than answers – supporting people bereaved by suicide blended learning course was developed by Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (CBCS) in collaboration with NHS Health Scotland as part of its programme of work to support people bereaved by suicide. This training is based on training developed by CBCS and centred on a series of videos of relatives of people who had taken their lives about the impact of being bereaved by suicide.

The training supports the implementation of the national guidance recently published by the Choose Life national programme at NHS Health Scotland 'Supporting People Bereaved by Suicide – A Good Practice Guide for Organisations who Respond to Suicide' as part of a programme of work to support people bereaved by suicide. The publication is for organisations whose staff includes those who have a specific duty to respond to a death by suicide, as well as those who may be required to support people who are bereaved and/or affected by suicide. ‚Äč

The course is aimed at three distinct constituencies who may come into contact and have a role in supporting people bereaved by suicide. This includes  professionals and members of specialist teams who are involved with the family in the first 24 hours following the death (first responders), after the immediate impact (secondary responders),  and those involved formally or informally in the longer term support of families (community support).  For a breakdown of staff that fall under these roles please see workshop sections below.

Course structure

The training is in a blended learning format and consists of two components. Successful completion of the e-learning module is a pre-requisite of attending the face-to-face workshop. Learners attend the workshop depending on their role as first (workshop A), secondary (workshop B) or community supporters (workshop C).

1. An e-learning module which can be accessed from Health Scotland’s Virtual Learning Environment above or from learnPro.

2. Three face-to-face workshops (A, B and C), each designed for a different audience and a slightly different focus.

Learning outcomes for the e learning module

  • To raise awareness of the effects of loss and grief
  • To provide a basic understanding of the experience of people who have been bereaved by suicide 
  • To explore own thoughts, beliefs and feelings about suicide, including people who take their own lives and people who are bereaved by a suicide death;
  • To increase understanding of the impact of suicide and the particular issues and difficulties facing people bereaved by suicide;

 Aims of the workshops

 The face-to-face workshops, build on the learning of the core module and offer participants opportunities to:

  • Further increase their understanding of the impact of suicide and the particular issues and difficulties facing people bereaved by suicide
  • Learn and practise relevant skills (e.g. communicating or breaking bad news)
  • Feel more confident and competent about supporting people bereaved by suicide
  • Identify areas where they may wish to acquire further knowledge and/or skills


Information on delivering the course can be obtained by contacting Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (CBCS) at or on 01738 444178

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