“If you are very new to the tragedy of suicide loss, despair may be your companion. We hope you find some time to rest your burden and share it with those of us who need no explanation. There is no map on this path to becoming whole. It is the most painful of journeys — full of twists and turns, bruised hearts and misunderstandings. Small wonders appear on this path but we may be too sore or fragile to recognize them. But there will be a day when you can look back and know that they were there. We share your loneliness. We share your sorrow. We share your questions. We honor those we love who have been lost to suicide. May the radiance and beauty of their lives never be defined by their deaths.
…As fellow survivors of suicide, we urge you to remember these few but important things:
- You are not alone.
- There are resources and people to support you.
- There is no universal time frame for healing, but you will move forward from the place where you are now.
- We wish you strength and courage as you travel through your grieving and your healing.”
-American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Survival Council
While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, you may need help from others
Grief from a suicide loss is unique and complicated. You may experience intense feelings of shock, despair, fear, anger, relief, guilt, or shame. These feelings are normal, even if they are directed at the person who died and do not mean you did not love them.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides practical information for suicide loss survivors, including questions you might have in the immediate aftermath of your loss, resources for survivors, and strategies for taking care of yourself.
While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, sometimes the grief can be so overpowering it becomes unhealthy and you may need help from a grief counselor or support group. Children also grieve differently than adults and may need specialized help to cope with the loss in a way that is developmentally appropriate for their age. Suicide grief support groups allow you to share your story and talk openly about suicide with people who really understand. It’s important you reach out for support and help if you are struggling with the loss.
Find a grief support group
There are many options for grief support and education. The Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition makes the support group listings for suicide loss survivors as a public service and does not run, recommend, endorse, or fund any of the groups listed below. We do not monitor individual groups and only update information as it is made available to us by the sponsoring organization. Some of these organizations offer suicide loss grief support groups while others are more generalized bereavement support groups. You may also find suicide loss support groups on social media. We encourage you to reach out to as many support groups as you need until finding one that you feel comfortable with.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Click below to find the closest treatment options
Grief support groups facilitated by expert clinicians in the fields of social work, nursing, counseling, and psychology.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
AFSP offers information for many different grief support groups around Utah
A Center for Grieving Children
A Center for Grieving Children is a support center for children grieving the loss of someone they love because of death, divorce, or separation in the family. Located in South Ogden, Utah.
The Sharing Place
The Sharing Place provides grief support to children and their parents. Support groups are organized by age and situation. Locations available in Salt Lake County.
The Bradley Center
The Bradley Center for Grieving Children and Families provides interfaith age-based peer group grief support programs for children, teens, young adults, and their families. Located in West Jordan, Utah.
Learn how to help someone who is grieving.
Grief associated with a suicide is complicated. You can help someone who has lost a loved one to suicide by listening without judgement; accepting their feelings; showing compassion and patience; and helping them take care of themselves, their family, and their day-to-day responsibilities (such as offering to babysit, bringing in meals, cleaning, running errands, reminding them to do self-care, etc.). Encouraging them to reach out for professional grief support may also be important. Offer to go with them to a grief support group or to visit a grief counselor so they are not alone.
Important dates such as anniversaries and holidays can bring forth memories of their loved one and emphasize their absence, so be sensitive during these times to their feelings and needs. When talking about their loved one, use their name to show you have not forgotten about them. This also helps reduce any stigma around their death.
This guide was developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Survivor Council. It provides tips and resources for coping with a suicide loss, written by other suicide loss survivors.
Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to assist school administrators in the aftermath of a suicide (or other student or teacher death) in a school community.
These recommendations were created to aid clergy members and other faith leaders care for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and to assist them in planning memorial services.
Funeral directors and the funeral services industry can be a vital first-line of support for families as they cope with the profound and crippling effects of a suicide loss.