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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
For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:
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.
Who can I talk to?
Choose someone you can trust e.g. partner, friend, famile member, doctor or VVCS counsellor
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.
Consider taking someone you trust with you to an appointment with a doctor or counsellor.
Plan what you are going to say and be honest. Discuss ideas that could help your situation.
Listen to what your friend, partner or counsellor is saying in response. Remember that they want you to feel better.