A CHILDHOOD bereavement charity has released a short film to raise awareness of the thousands of children who are bereaved by suicide each year.

Winston’s Wish, which a had a branch in Ventnor Villas, Hove, has created the film #HopeAfterSuicide.

The moving two minute long piece, has been directed and produced by filmmaker Phil Beastall – the man behind the £50 ‘Love is a Gift’ short that went viral last Christmas.

“In the UK, on average, someone takes their own life every 90 minutes,” says Fergus Crow, CEO of Winston’s Wish.

“Many of these may be the parents and siblings of children who are left overwhelmed and bewildered by what has happened.

“Public awareness of suicide is increasingly higher, but awareness of the consequences for the children bereaved by suicide is not.

“Suicide is a sudden and often unexpected death which can have a particularly devastating effect on young people.

“An experience which – left unsupported – can lead to very negative life outcomes, including developmental issues and mental health disorders, bullying or being bullied, lower educational attainment, high risk behaviour, unemployment, crime and social exclusion.

“Our aim is to shine a light on the reality of this issue, because if we don’t address it, then we are leaving thousands of children to suffer.

“Many of these children will have returned to school this month: the reality of their summer holiday ‘stories’ in stark contrast to those of their friends and class mates.”

The risks – according to recent academic studies – are increased further when the bereavement is by suicide, with research showing that ‘people who are bereaved as a result of suicide are themselves at increased risk of taking their own life’.

Evidence shows, however, that for many young people, these risks can be mitigated against with well-managed support.