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Suicide Loss Support

After A Suicide Loss

Healing from a suicide loss is a deeply personal journey, and there is no one approach that works best for everyone. Seek the support and resources that resonate with you. Making meaning out of such a loss can be a long and difficult process, but with time and support, it is possible to find ways to remember and honor your loved one while moving toward healing and acceptance.

Suicide Grief: Making Meaning Out of Loss 

Below are some strategies that may help you make meaning out of a suicide loss and begin the process of healing.

Downloadable Resources

To access and share this information, use the following downloadable PDFs. 

Providing Support to Someone Experiencing Suicide Loss

Supporting someone who has experienced a suicide loss can be challenging, but it’s essential to be there for them during this difficult time. Here are some guidelines on how to appropriately help someone who is experiencing a suicide loss:

Be there and listen

Be present. Listen. Let the person know that you are there to support them whenever they need to talk or just be with someone.

Avoid judgment, criticism, or trying to provide immediate solutions. Allow them to express their feelings and thoughts without interruption.

Show empathy and understanding

Understand that they may be going through intense emotions like guilt, anger, confusion, and sadness. Let them know that these feelings are normal.

Use empathetic statements such as, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through,” or “I’m here for you, and I care about how you feel.”

Avoid insensitive comments

Be mindful of your choice of words. Avoid saying things like, “I know how you feel” or “It’s for the best.” Instead, acknowledge their pain without trying to compare or minimize it.

Encourage getting professional help

Gently suggest that they seek professional help, such as therapy or counseling. Grief can be overwhelming, and trained professionals can provide valuable support.

Offer to help them find a therapist or counselor if they’re unsure where to start.

Be patient

Understand that grief doesn’t have a set timeframe. People grieve differently and at their own pace.

Continue offering support even after some time has passed. Grief can resurface, especially around anniversaries or triggering events.

Assist with practical matters

Offer assistance with practical tasks such as meal preparation, housework, or childcare if they’re comfortable with it. Grieving individuals may struggle to focus on daily responsibilities.

Encourage self-care

Remind them of the importance of self-care. Encourage them to eat well, get enough rest, and engage in activities that bring them comfort and relaxation.

Stay connected

Continue reaching out regularly, even when it seems like they’re doing better. Isolation can exacerbate feelings of grief and loneliness.

Respect their privacy

Understand that they may not want to discuss the details of the suicide, and that’s okay. Respect their boundaries and only offer support where they’re comfortable.

Educate yourself

Take the time to learn about suicide, grief, and mental health to better understand what your loved one is going through. This knowledge will help you offer more effective support.

Your role is to provide emotional support, not to “fix” the person’s grief. Grieving is a unique and personal process, and your presence and empathy can make a significant difference in their healing journey. If you believe they are in immediate danger or need urgent help, do not hesitate to call emergency services or a crisis hotline

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