Coroner’s conference on suicide in Norwich could be adopted across country

A 'ground-breaking initiative' aimed at getting groups together to discuss how families of suicide victims can be better supported could become a regular event.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong convened a conference calling for more support for the families of suicides, after noticing an increase in the number of cases in recent months.

Mr Armstrong, supported by the coroner's chaplain, the Rev Chris Copsey, invited medical, nursing and social work professionals, together with bereavement experts, clergy, Victim Support and leading voluntary organisations to the conference on the subject, 'Responding to Suicide: Exploring the effects and supporting the survivors'.

It was held at the coroner's office in Thorpe Road, Norwich yesterday, and afterwards Mr Armstrong said he hoped the event would encourage more people to seek the extra help on offer.

He said: 'I don't know anywhere else where this kind of thing happens and it is a ground-breaking initiative. It could be adopted elsewhere in the country.

'Launching an initiative of this kind is, in a way, extending the traditional role of the coroner, but I think it's a perfectly legitimate thing to be doing.

'I see the coroner's service as not just a legal process but a way of reaching out to people.

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'There's been a tremendous amount of interest in it and we hope to repeat it.'

Are you holding an event in Norwich aimed at helping people in need? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email