Nelson’s Journey helped hundreds of children after suicide of family members in last year

Mary Blackwell and her 11-year-old daughter Maisie Leyshon, who have been getting support from Nelso

Mary Blackwell and her 11-year-old daughter Maisie Leyshon, who have been getting support from Nelson's Journey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The number of children in Norfolk seeking support following a suicide in the family has increased, new figures show.

Norwich-based bereavement charity Nelson's Journey said it provided help and advice to 630 children last year after they had lost a relative.

Figures show that more than 80 of those referred to the organisation in 2015 followed the suicide of a family member.

Simon Wright, the charity's chief executive, said: 'The range of bereavement needs in these children is incredibly complex when a death involves such tragic circumstances.

'Children and young people often feel that it's something that they did themselves that caused someone to take their own life.'

Since 2013 the charity has seen a year-on-year increase in the number of children seeking support.

It helped 487 children across Norfolk in 2013, followed by 580 in 2014 and 630 last year.

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Over the next 12 months it is estimated that another 470 young people across the county will experience the death of a parent.

The charity also noted that there was an increased risk of drug and alcohol use by children after they lost a relative.

Mr Wright added: 'The service we provide prevents further harm to the individuals, and reduces the cost to society as a whole.'

The charity provides free support to children up to the age of 17.

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