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Life After Loss: Resources That May Help Suicide Loss Survivors

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There is no right or wrong way to heal after surviving a suicide loss. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one who died by suicide, it’s important to take time to heal and process your emotions on your own terms.

We’ve collected a number of resources to assist you as you begin to recover. The following resources are just suggestions and are in no way exhaustive. If you are concerned about your mental health, speak to a licensed professional.

For Your Mental Health

Speak to a Licensed Therapist or Grief Counselor

Speaking to a therapist or social worker can help you process any emotions you may feel after a suicide loss. Whether you chose to speak to someone days after losing someone or years, opening up can help you sort through any unresolved questions you may have. Below are some websites which can help you find a nearby mental health professional or teletherapy provider.

Join a Support Group

Meeting other survivors can help you heal as well. Try and find a group led by a mental health professional to ensure that the conversation stays productive. If you can’t find a group near you, you can try starting one with the help of a local suicide prevention or awareness organization.

Books and Workbooks

“After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief”

This handbook, written by two psychologists, is designed to help people cope with suicide loss. The book follows the days, weeks, and months after a loss, providing different ways to handle grief as time moves on. “After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief” also includes information about how to talk to children regarding suicide loss.

“Getting Through It: A Workbook for Suicide Survivors”

Written by a licensed professional counselor, “Getting Through It: A Workbook for Suicide Survivors,” provides organizational tools and guidance for processing your loss. The workbook is suitable for both adults and children.

“Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them”

An illustrated book meant for children, “Someone I Love Died by Suicide” uses simple to understand language and is appropriate for younger children and families. The book was written by a licensed mental health counselor and is meant to be used in conjunction with therapy.

Ways to Memorialize Your Loved One

Add Their Name to the Digital Memorial Quilt

The AFSP offers an online space where suicide loss survivors can post stories about friends and family they have lost to suicide. Posts can include video, audio, text and photographs.

Plant a Tree in Their Honor

While not specific to suicide loss, memorial trees are an environmentally friendly and long-lasting way to memorialize someone you have lost.

Participate in an Out of Darkness Walk

Hosted by the AFSP, the Out of Darkness Walk raises money to prevent suicide. Walkers consist of suicide survivors, suicide loss survivors and others passionate about preventing suicide. There are over 350 walks throughout the U.S. for you to get involved in.

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

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Originally published: September 8, 2016
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