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I have been affected by a suicide

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Staying calm tool
Tips on how to talk to someone

Unanswered questions

If someone close to you or someone you know has recently suicided, you may be experiencing a range of difficult emotions such as shock, disbelief or even anger alongside many unanswered questions including ‘Could I have done anything to prevent it?’ and ‘Why did he/she do it?’.

The grieving process

It is important to know that these types of emotions and thoughts are normal grief reactions and are very common amongst people bereaved by suicide.

Feelings associated with grief and loss vary and you may experience sadness, anger, anxiety, shock, panic, relief, numbness or guilt. Following a death by suicide, many grief responses are significantly intensified and may be overwhelming.

Dealing with stigma and confusing feelings

Because of the stigma attached to suicide you may also have feelings of shame or have people who you need to support you projecting blame. Sometimes suicide still occurs even when you have tried your best to help and this can reflect many complex factors. Being the person who acknowledged the problem and tried to help does not mean you are responsible if the person then goes on to complete suicide.

Look after yourself

Being affected by suicide can put you at risk of suicide as well.

If you are having suicidal thoughts the important thing to remember is that help and support is available.


If you need to talk to someone right away please ring one of the agencies below:

For immediate assistance when life may be in danger

Call 000

For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:

VVCS Website Logo VVCS
(Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)

1800 011 046
ADF All Hours Support Line Logo ADF All Hours Support Line
1800 628 036
Lifeline (24 hour crisis support)
13 11 14
Mens Line Logo Mens Line
1300 78 99 78
1800 Respect Logo National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line
1800 737 732
Kids Helpline Logo Kids Help Line (for 5-25yrs)
1800 55 1800
Suicide Callback Logo Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467

If you are feeling overwhelmed or not sure what to do, try “Staying Calm” to help you regain control of your thoughts and help you think things through.

Watch or read “Staying Calm” here

Once you have watched or read “Staying calm” you may be able to think about how you are going to talk to someone that you trust.

If you decide to talk to someone here are some suggestions that might help:

Middle aged man on phone and looking at VVCS pamphlet

Who can I talk to?
Choose someone you can trust e.g. partner, friend, famile member, doctor or VVCS counsellor

Elderly man looking sad

Plan a time to talk without interruptions or make an appointment. Remember to tell the person you are going to talk to that it is important.

Young man in ADF uniform with his wife talking to counsellor

Consider taking someone you trust with you to an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.

Woman looking down as she speaks to counsellor

Plan what you are going to say and be honest. Discuss ideas that could help your situation.

A man looking down as he speaks to counsellor

Listen to what your friend, partner or counsellor is saying in  response.  Remember that they want you to feel better.