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6 Things to Remember After a Young Person Dies by Suicide

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1. There is no single reason someone dies by suicide.

There are many factors that may cause suicide. An individual may have been struggling with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, mood changes and more. I think factors such as bullying or harassment should also be taken into consideration.

2. Give yourself permission to heal and feel.

The loss of life is impactful no matter the circumstances, so give yourself permission to take time off from work or school and allow yourself time to heal from the loss.

3. The way a child grieves is similar to an adult, but it is not always identical.

Keep an open line of communication between you and a child or teen who may be affected by the loss of life. Emotions such as sadness, anger, hopelessness and guilt are some of the feelings individuals may experience after the loss of a life.

4. Don’t underestimate the effects of the loss of life.

It is not necessary for a child or teen to have had a personal relationship with the individual who died by suicide — the loss of life can be far-reaching and have a ripple effect on both children and adults.

5. Don’t be afraid to talk and don’t be afraid to listen. 

Friends and classmates of the child or teen who died by suicide might experience a range of emotions and may have several thoughts and questions running through their heads and will most likely need someone to process these thoughts with. It’s OK to listen and it’s OK to not know what to say.

6. Utilize supports that are available.

Mental health professionals are available to assist individuals in grief processing. There
are many support groups available and materials online to help individuals who are grieving, as well as providing support to individuals who may be currently having thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Getty image via Feverpitched

Originally published: January 4, 2018
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