Bereavement and suicide themes at special session of the Swindon Employers Network

Swindon Mindful Employers Network, which is managed by RF, is staging a one-off awareness session on the subjects of bereavement and suicide.

This special event will be chaired by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton, who was also formerly vice patron of Richmond Fellowship. He said: “I’m pleased to return to the town and look forward to joining the Swindon Mindful Employer Network once again and hearing from guest speakers about these very difficult matters. We urge local businesses to take the opportunity to come along and find out more.”

The event, on 13 June, aims to provide much needed support and advice to businesses which may have employees experiencing bereavement. It will also focus on suicide and the impact this has on family members, friends and work colleagues and consider the resources there are available in Swindon to provide support.

Guest speakers will include Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, Mandy Rutter of Validium, Mary Mooney of Lift Psychology, Linda Morgan of The Samaritans and Jacqueline Parry of SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide). Cormac MacMahon, news editor of Heart FM, will present an interview and Q&A session with the guest speakers.

David Latham, who manages the network at Richmond Fellowship, said: “Everyone experiences tragedy and bereavement at some point in their lives – it’s simply unavoidable. At these extremely difficult times, work colleagues can play such an important role.  People experiencing bereavement may possibly feel very isolated and suffer from mental health issues. Managers need professional guidance during these periods – and considerable patience and understanding.”

Frances Mayes of Public Health Swindon, who is speaking about suicide at the event, said: “Employers may be surprised at the number of people bereaved by suicide and the particular impact that has on their life. Sadly since 2007 we’ve seen an increase in the number of suicides nationally and locally. Many people attribute this to the financial impact of the recession.

“There are actions that employers and particularly line managers can take to support those affected that will make a significant difference. This session will help explore some of these issues and help employers become more aware of the risk factors and support available.”

he event will be held at Jurys Inn Swindon Hotel on 13 June and attendance is free to local employers.

Booking is essential on smen@richmondfellowship.org.uk