New suicide bereavement service to support heartbroken families launched in Portsmouth, Hampshire and Isle of Wight

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A NEW suicide bereavement service has been commissioned to support families and friends of those who take their lives.

The site, called Ampara – which means ‘shelter’ or ‘safe haven’ in Spanish – has been commissioned to cover Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Specialist liaison workers will be on hand to provide emotional and practical support to all those affected by the suicide of a loved on.

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As well as one-to-one support, Ampara can offer support at inquest, help overcoming emotional trauma, children’s counselling and advice in dealing with media enquiries.

Helen Atkinson, director of public health at Portsmouth City Council, said the authority was committed to providing more advice and support for bereaved families and friends of those who take their own lives.

She added: ‘We know that death of a family member or friend by suicide is a risk factor for suicide in the bereaved and must ensure that no one feels alone in dealing with their grief or experience of suicide.’

Councillor Matthew Winnington, Portsmouth’s health and wellbeing boss, said Amparo will be an ‘invaluable service’ but added: ‘It's important to note that Amparo is not just for those who have been impacted by a recent suicide, but for anyone who may have been affected at some point in the past. I would encourage anyone in need of support to reach out.’

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Amparo is free of charge and does not have a waiting list. To refer a person who has been affected by suicide into Amparo, call 0300 088 9255 or visit

For more support, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or see

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