When suicide happens to family or friends we want to be there to offer support whilst you go through this dreadful experience. “Postvention” refers to activities which reduce risk and promote healing after a suicide death.
We are starting to do this through our peer support groups. Although each person’s experience is different, sharing that experience and supporting each other is more valuable than some appreciate. Peer support does not replace any medical intervention but can work very effectively alongside.
When we were sadly bereaved by suicide and were wondering where to turn, we discovered there was no support in Worcester where we lived. When we set up the charity we wanted to support anyone bereaved by suicide, as this type of bereavement is much different to any other bereavement.
If you are bereaved by suicide these factors can be significant:
> the shock you go through
> making police statements
> if the suicide happens in your house it will be sealed off until the investigation is over
> if the person has been under mental health services there are investigations to go through
> there will be reports to read, amend and approve
> there’s an interim death certificate to arrange the funeral
> the funeral
> there may be stigma
> there will be an inquest
> you may have to deal with the press
There may be other factors, such as children or other family members, to consider.
When you lose someone through suicide the pain is unbearable and the constant question of ‘why’ goes round and round in your head.
It is common for anyone bereaved by suicide to blame themselves …
“I should have given them more time”
“I didn’t listen enough”
“I should have seen the warning signs”
“I had a big row with them before they ended their life”
“If only I had come back home earlier”
“If only I hadn’t gone out”
“If only, if only, if only … “
Suicide can have a ripple effect. It can extend beyond the person’s immediate family and friends, depending on your relationship with them and the circumstances around the death.
While losing someone close to you can be extremely painful and emotionally complex, you may also be deeply affected if it is someone you know less well.
If you are affected there are organisations to help. Talking through your emotions and talking about the person who died can help you to process the loss.
People suddenly bereaved often suffer very much. They often have acute and lengthy support needs.
In comparison to bereavement by a ‘natural’ death, when bereaved by suicide there is very little information and support available.
You may find this book useful.
Please use the ‘Get Support’ button below for a list of organisations that can help with support, including access to someone you can chat with.