Study objectives This partnership project aimed to adapt Elemental Software’s digital social prescribing platform to meet the needs of people bereaved by suicide. Families and friends in the aftermath of suicide are at increased risk of family break-down and anxiety, depression, PTSD and prolonged grief, which can be coupled with a reluctance to seek help. In Northern Ireland, a nationwide process for support after suicide is in place (uptake of 50%). Previous research indicates that families and GPs are uncertain about role, function and effectiveness of the support that is offered. Improved outcomes-based reporting is needed to link people to the right kind of support and assist commissioners with funding allocation. Social prescribing links people to community based services. Benefits include improved connectedness and empowerment. Elemental Software has been introduced in mental health context but has not been considered for people bereaved by suicide. We consulted key stakeholders across Northern Ireland (NI) on the potential of digital social prescribing for postvention support. Methods The co-design methods involved a series of engagement processes. We identified partners, delivered a series of demonstrations and hosted a workshop with service providers, advocate groups and commissioners to discuss the mechanics of digital social prescribing for postvention. Results By working together to identify challenges and solutions we have established appropriate methods to test the feasibility of digital social prescribing for postvention support, including roles, recruitment processes, and person and service related outcome measures. Conclusion The development of a digital social prescribing platform has the potential to accelerate the translation of research findings about the needs of those bereaved by suicide, into provision of improved care and support. Our team has grown and we are actively seeking funding for a feasibility study incorporating a process evaluation. The next steps of the project are: 1) to develop an intervention manual for feasibility testing of digital social prescribing for suicide bereavement support; 2) to test the feasibility of this intervention across the NI context, with a view to piloting effectiveness of social prescribing for suicide bereavement support, in a wider UK context.
|Publication status||Published - 20 Sep 2019|
|Event||30th Annual Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention: Breaking Down Walls & Building Bridges - Millennium Forum, Derry, Ireland|
Duration: 17 Sep 2019 → 21 Sep 2019
|Conference||30th Annual Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention|
|Abbreviated title||IASP Annual Congress|
|Period||17/09/2019 → 21/09/2019|