29 April 2020

Support service for those bereaved by suicide available now in Liverpool

As part of funding received from NHS England to scale up suicide bereavement support, a new service is now available in Liverpool for anyone affected by suicide. Amparo offers a suicide liaison service to those who are navigating the difficult terrain following a loved one taking their own life.

Sadly, in Liverpool, there are approximately 41 deaths by suicide each year. Estimates vary on how many people are affected by each suicide – ranging from ten deeply affected to 135 people exposed to a suicide death. This equates to between 410 to 5535 people affected each year in Liverpool. Amparo aims to reduce the risk for those affected by suicide by offering timely advice and support with the practicalities surrounding a sudden bereavement. The service offers one to one support from an Amparo Liaison worker, who will help with; practical support dealing with the police and other agencies, support at the inquest, help with media enquiries, support overcoming feelings of isolation and signposting to other services where necessary.

Since the commencement of the Amparo service in other areas of England no beneficiaries have gone on to take their own life according to a coroner office audit, which is a known risk for people who have been affected by suicide.

Cllr Paul Brant, Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care, Liverpool City Council said:

“I am really pleased we are now able to offer the Amparo suicide bereavement service to the people of Liverpool. This will ensure that those who have suffered from the shock and sadness of the sudden loss of a loved one are able to get the help that they need in the weeks and months that follow.”

Richard Brown, CEO of Amparo said:

“People bereaved by suicide are at greater risk of attempting to or taking their own lives by up to 300%. This is why the service that we offer through Amparo is so vital for the people of Liverpool. The loss of someone by suicide is tragic and life-changing and we offer the necessary emotional and practical support to help anyone going through this following the death.”

Amparo is free of charge and does not have a waiting list. To refer a person who has been affected by suicide, please contact Amparo directly via the following channels:

Phone: 0300 088 9255

Email: amparo.service@listening-ear.co.uk


What Amparo offers

The aim of the service is to reduce the risk for those affected by suicide at any time, by offering timely and practical information and guidance following a sudden bereavement. Amparo works with individuals, families and communities.

The service provides:

  • One to one support from an Amparo Liaison Worker
    (please note the service is not counselling)*
  • Information, emotional and practical support
  • Practical support dealing with Police and other agencies
  • Support at Inquest
  • Help with any media enquiries
  • Help to overcome any feelings of isolation
  • Referrals and signposting to other services as required
  • Community response to work-based ‘probable’ suicides, such as schools

Referrals to Amparo

Amparo is free of charge and does not have a waiting list. To refer a person who has been affected by suicide, please contact the team via the following channels:

Telephone: 0300 088 9255

Email: amparo.service@listening-ear.co.uk

Service adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic have allowed the service to continue operating using telephone, video messaging platforms, text and email.

The need for suicide liaison service

Sadly, in Cheshire & Merseyside there are approximately 210 deaths by suicide each year, with around 40 of these being Liverpool residents. Estimates vary on how many people are affected by each suicide – ranging from ten deeply affected to 135 people exposed to a suicide death.


We know that compared with people bereaved through other causes, those bereaved by suicide are at an increased risk of suicide, psychiatric admission, social isolation and depression. Bereavement through suicide is also more likely to result in a suicide attempt and poor social functioning. People who have been bereaved by suicide often report that the experience has affected their ability to cope with everyday activities such as work, relationships and social functioning.


About the Amparo Service

Amparo was launched in April 2015; however, this is the first time it will be available across the whole Cheshire & Merseyside area. It is anticipated that the service will now have a wider reach and support a greater number of local people.

The Amparo service is run by Listening Ear and the Cheshire & Merseyside team consists of three suicide liaison officers, one service manager and the CEO, Richard Brown.

The Amparo service has shown through performance monitoring that it reduces the distress of those bereaved, supports recovery and reduces the risks of suicidal behaviours in those bereaved.

Amparo has links with the many voluntary sector organisations that play a vital role in supporting those bereaved by suicide and will signpost beneficiaries to these organisations as appropriate.

The launch of Amparo in Liverpool is part of a broader plan to strengthen suicide bereavement provision across Cheshire & Merseyside. Further information on this, including plans for a consultation with those with lived experience, will be shared once the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.


If you are struggling right now and require immediate help there are a number of services you can contact.


Merseycare mental health crisis line
Open 24 hrs a day – Call 0151 296 7200 Adults 16 +

Alder Hey mental health crisis line
Open 24 hrs a day – Children & Young People – call 0151 293 3577

James’ Place Liverpool

James’ Place offer men experiencing a suicidal crisis a proven, intensive, therapeutic intervention in a safe environment. Open Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm Not bank holidays.

Telephone: 0151 303 5757

​E-mail: info@jamesplace.org.uk

For immediate help: Text JP to 85258, our Crisis Line.


Paul’s Place

Offer free therapy for those bereaved by suicide.

0151 226 0696 or email: paulsplace@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk


Caring Connections/ Barbara Bettle Foundation

Offer counselling and CBT for those bereaved by suicide in Knowsley.

Tel: 0151 289 2761
Email: admin@caringconnections.org.uk
Office Hours: Mon – Fri: 09:00 – 17:00


Contact Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123 (free) or www.samaritans.org

(For young people) Phone: 0800 068 41 41 or www.papyrus-uk.org


Editors notes

NO MORE Suicide Partnership – co-ordinated by Champs Public Health Collaborative

The NO MORE Suicide Partnership brings together over 70 partners in Cheshire & Merseyside that work together to prevent suicide, improve care for those in crisis and support those bereaved. For more information visit www.no-more.co.uk

Led by the Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health, Champs Public Health Collaborative is an outcome-focused model working across the nine Local Authorities in Cheshire & Merseyside. Champs enables resources to be shared and public health initiatives to be delivered across a larger area, improving local health outcomes for its population of 2.5 million people. Champs delivers a number of priorities in partnership with Public Health England North West and NHS England Cheshire & Merseyside which includes suicide prevention. www.champspublichealth.com