Adapting Digital Social Prescribing for Suicide Bereavement Support: The Findings of a Consultation Exercise to Explore the Acceptability of Implementing Digital Social Prescribing within an Existing Postvention Service: The findings of a consultation exercise to explore the acceptability of implementing digital social prescribing within an existing postvention service

Karen Galway, Trisha Forbes, Sharon Mallon, Olinda Santin, Paul Best, Jennifer Neff, Gerard Leavey, Alexandra Pitman

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This paper describes a consultation exercise to explore the acceptability of adapting digital social prescribing (DSP) for suicide bereavement support. Bereavement by suicide increases the risk of suicide and mental health issues. Social prescribing improves connectedness and empowerment and can provide digital outcomes-based reporting to improve the capacity for measuring the effectiveness of interventions. Our aim was to consult on the acceptability and potential value of DSP for addressing the complexities of suicide bereavement support. Our approach was underpinned by implementation science and a co-design ethos. We reviewed the literature and delivered DSP demonstrations as part of our engagement process with commissioners and service providers (marrying evidence and context) and identified key roles for stakeholders (facilitation). Stakeholders contributed to a co-designed workshop to establish consensus on the challenges of providing postvention support. We present findings on eight priority challenges, as well as roles and outcomes for testing the feasibility of DSP for support after suicide. There was a consensus that DSP could potentially improve access, reach, and monitoring of care and support. Stakeholders also recognised the potential for DSP to contribute substantially to the evidence base for postvention support. In conclusion, the consultation exercise identified challenges to facilitating DSP for support after suicide and parameters for feasibility testing to progress to the evaluation of this innovative approach to postvention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4561
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019



  • Suicide bereavement
  • suicide prevention
  • social prescribing
  • postvention

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