Suicide of a loved one is one of the most difficult experieces one can experience. The wide range of emotions that often accompany a suicide make it even more complex to work through. It's not uncommon for family members to feel guilt for not doing more to stop the suicide, anger at the person who died for leaving them, profound loss, embarassment, numbness. Suicide loss support groups, and individual and family therapy can be very helpful in working through the loss, receiving emotional support, and gaining tools to move through this difficult experience.
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A variety of supports can bolster survivors of suicide loss. Family and friends, religious or spiritual or community activities, the passage of time, and psychotherapy or counseling each can contribute to healing. In addition, participation in self-help groups can provide invaluable support. These groups help survivors to talk about the suicide, put suicide in perspective, deal with any family problems caused by the suicide, feel better about themselves, obtain factual information about suicide and its effects, feel safe to express their feelings, and understand and deal with others' reactions to suicide.
Guidelines for coping with suicide loss and for helping and comforting friends and family are available from a variety of sources, including the International Association for Suicide Prevention, Befrienders Worldwide, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Charles E. Kubly Foundation, The Jed Foundation, and Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA, among others.