Sandra McDougall, Scottish Association for Mental Health.
Download from www.samh.org.uk
A good friend of mine at school committed suicide a while back, writes Graham Hopkins. I hadn’t seen him too much since we left school, as often happens when you move on, but later discovered at the time of his death he was working 10 minutes away from where I lived. I was surprised at the shock, disbelief and guilt that I felt. It was somehow worsened by the universal response of people when discovering his chosen method (under a tube train): “He meant it then”. So, I can only imagine the effect of a suicide of a family member or somebody still close. This excellent booklet has been written precisely with that in mind: how to cope (inevitably called “coping strategies”) and work through the mixed emotions you might feel (loss, anger, guilt, confusion and helplessness). It offers practical advice on what needs to happen after someone’s death, and provides a useful list of contacts and resources. As it’s published by the Scottish Association for Mental Health, it naturally focuses on Scotland and its laws. Although written by a legal officer, it is concise, sensitive and readable.