Where to Go for Support After Suicide Loss
. . .the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that after a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among those aged 10 to 24 increased dramatically — by 56 percent — between 2007 and 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents like car crashes.
Jane E. Brody, December 2019, The New York Times, “The Crisis in Youth Suicides”
If You’ve Lost a Child to Suicide, These Resources May Be Helpful
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention page for survivors of suicide loss.
- The American Association of Suicidology’s Suicide Loss page.
- The Compassionate Friends runs in-person groups, which you can find here, as well as 34 closed Facebook groups, one called “Loss Due to Suicide.”
- Alliance of Hope provides information, consultations and support to suicide loss survivors though its website and online community forum. It operates like a 24/7 support group supervised by trained moderators and a mental health professional. The forum includes such topics as “grief, blame and forgiveness” and “parents who lost children.”
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.
Nationally, suicide has emerged as the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-19 years old.
*Nearly 1 in 6 teens has seriously contemplated suicide in the past year.
*Suicide affects people of all backgrounds.
*Early identification of risk factors can aid behavioral health specialists in prevention strategies for youth at risk of suicide.
*Suicide is complex and tragic yet often preventable if communities are provided with the right tools.Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Center for Suicide and Research
Suicide Breaks Hearts
By American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Refrain from saying “I know how you feel” unless you are also a suicide loss survivor. Instead, something like, “I don’t know what to say: I have no idea what you’re going through, but I care about you and I want to be here for you,” will be more honest and meaningful.
- Read about suicide loss. You’ll better understand what your loved one is experiencing, and in the process might discover helpful information you can share with the
- Don’t wait for your loved one to ask you for help; they may be too deep in their grief to realize what they need. Rather than saying, “Let me know if I can help,” do something specific for them, like shop for groceries, offer to babysit, bring dinner to their home, etc.
- Help connect your loved one with other suicide loss survivors through International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, AFSP’s Healing Conversations program, and bereavement support groups.(When appropriate, consider offering to accompany them to an event so that they don’t feel so alone.)
- Many people find that professional counseling helps them deal with their grief in a healthy way. Help your loved one search for a therapist, schedule appointments, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to speak the name of the person who died. Your loved one will be grateful for the opportunity to reminisce.
- Knowing what to expect and learning from someone else’s experience can help both you and your loved one get through the more difficult times.
- Just be there. Sit with them. Watch TV or a movie. Listen to music. Go for a walk together.
- Be patient. This experience has changed your loved one’s life forever. The weeks and months following the funeral, when the initial shock wears off and the full reality of what has happened sinks in, may be the toughest for them. Continue to check in, and let them know you are thinking of them, that you’re there for them, and that you want to listen.
- Most importantly, be sure to remind your friend of their self-care needs: get plenty of rest, eat nutritiously, etc.