Resources for Suicide Loss Survivors
Written by: Miranda Owen
Miranda Owen is one of NAMI Wake’s work study students, helping us as a social media technician and blog contributor.
It is never easy to go through grieving a loved one, but losing a loved one to suicide presents a particularly difficult circumstance. For those navigating the loss of a loved one or supporting someone who is, there are multiple resources available to help you take care of yourself during this difficult time.
You should not feel pressured to talk about your situation right away. If you are ready to take the next step and discuss your loss, speaking to friends, family, or professionals may help your grieving process and allow you the opportunity to be supported. If you’re uncomfortable sharing aloud, it can also be helpful to journal or write in a letter about how you’re feeling. It can provide a safe space for you to express what you’re feeling without any perceived judgement.
Certain common ties bind suicide loss survivors together such as unanswered questions, feeling helpless, isolation, and intense grief. Understanding your loss and reading or listening to others in the same situation you are in can be valuable for your understanding of what has happened, how to cope with it, and to understand you are not alone in your feelings. You can read blogs written by other survivors on the NAMI website.
3. Support Groups
You are never alone in your struggles. There are support groups specifically for individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) offers many resources for suicide loss survivors, and can help you locate a support group for you on their website. It can also be helpful to connect with other individuals at NAMI Wake events, such as our monthly education events which can provide information for those interested about specific subject matter. You can find these events by exploring our website or checking in with us on social media. If you are not a Wake County local, you can locate the NAMI affiliate in your local community here.
4. Supporting A Loss Survivor
For those who want to better support and understand what a suicide loss survivor is going through, there are many ways to be there for your friends or family members. Some things to keep in mind include accepting the person’s feelings, being there for them in times of need such as holidays and anniversaries, and to continue using the name of the person who has died (to lessen the stigma of what has happened and show you have not forgotten this important person). The Survivors of Suicide website contains more tips on helping a survivor heal which can be found here.
If you or a loved one is in a crisis or needs to access mental health resources, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or call 911 immediately in a life-threatening emergency and ask for a CIT officer.
You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.