Coping with a Suicide Loss

  • It’s okay to grieve
  • It’s okay to cry
  • Feelings of guilt, confusion and anger and fear are common emotions in grief.
  • Understand that people grieve differently.
  • Talk openly and honestly about suicide. Talking about suicide, mental illness can help surviving family members and friends take steps towards prevention if they see something is wrong.
  • Ask “Why” until you no longer need to ask.
  • It’s okay to laugh, it doesn’t mean that you are not grieving or that you didn’t love the person who has died.
  • Grief is work and takes energy. It’s important to face your grief and not suppress your feelings
  • Be patient with yourself…grief takes time and has no time table
  • Avoid people who try to tell you how you should feel or that you “should get over it”.
  • Reassure the person that they are not responsible for the person taking their life. Nothing they said or didn’t say caused them to take their life.
  • Be attentive, present and practice active listening. Not all teens will have the need to talk about their loss.
  • Provide structure, a sense of continuity and stability during crisis and loss.
  • Seek professional help if needed.

Explaining why suicide happens:

  • The brain is an organ of the body, just like the heart or liver and can get sick.
  • Depression is an illness and can cause a person to die by suicide.
  • The person’s pain exceeded their ability to cope.

Grief Resources

"With Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention through improving mental health support services and education in our schools and throughout our community."
Disclaimer: The diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders requires a trained medical professional. Information contained in this website reflects the opinions of With Hope Foundation, and is intended for educational purposes only. It should NOT be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders. Please consult a medical professional if the information here leads you to believe you or someone you know may be depressed.