COPING AFTER SUICIDE OR SUICIDE ATTEMPT

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					COPING AFTER A SUICIDE OR SUICIDE ATTEMPT
Grief after Suicide                         an exaggerated sense of            Suicide-related illness such as
 Coming to terms with the death             responsibility for the death        depression often runs in families.
  of a loved one is one of life’s           the suicide was malicious, or      Because of this increased risk for
  most challenging journeys.                 a way for the deceased to           suicide, survivors should not be
 Family and friends can                     get back at them                    isolated but be supported and
  experience even more complex                                                   encouraged to talk about all their
  grief when a death is from
                                        Stigma Affects Mourning                  feelings – even the most difficult
  suicide.                               Suicide is a difficult topic for
                                                                                 ones.
 Trying to cope with the pain of         many people.
  their sudden loss friends and          Cultural and religious beliefs can   Survivor Coping Strategies
  family are often overwhelmed by         lead to judgmental or                No two people will experience grief
  feelings of blame, anger and            condemning attitudes.                in the same way or with the same
  incomprehension.                       Some people prefer to avoid          intensity but there are coping
 There is still a stigma that            discussing suicide and lack of       strategies that will help:
  surrounds suicide.                      knowledge makes them fearful.         Acknowledge that the death is a
 Survivors of suicide and their         It is these attitudes that can         suicide
  friends can help each other and         isolate and cause further stress      Recognize your feelings and loss
  themselves by gaining and               for survivors.                        Talk openly with you family so that
  understanding of grief after           Stigma leads survivors to feelings     everyone’s grief is acknowledged
  suicide.                                of abandonment by their social         and can be expressed
 For survivors: knowing that the         network. They often describe:         Reach out to your friends and
  intensity of their feelings is           being avoided by friends or          guide them if they don’t know
  normal.                                      acquaintances.                    what to say or do
                                           feeling judged.                     Find support groups where you can
 For friends: learning how to             people behaving as if the            share your stories, memories and
  support the bereaved.                        death had not occurred.           methods of coping
A Different Grief                        Whether real or perceived stigma      Be aware that anniversaries (e.g.
                                          can affect a survivor’s journey to     Birthdays, Holidays) can be
 Survivors of suicide – the family
                                          acceptance.                            especially difficult and consider
  and friends of a person who
  completes suicide.                                                             whether to continue old traditions
                                        What Survivors should                    or begin new ones
   They feel the emotions that         know
     death always brings and                                                    Develop rituals to honor your loved
                                         Know that you are not alone.           one’s life
     adding to their suffering is the    Approximately 1 of 4 people
     shock of a sudden, often             knows someone who died by            Where To Go For More
     unexpected death.                    suicide.                             Information
   They may also feel isolated          Suicide was the decision of the      You are not alone. Help is only
     and judged by society, friends       person who died.                     a phone call away. For further
     and colleagues                      It is estimated that the majority    information contact:
 People may compare the                  of suicides are the result of
  emotional stress to being trapped       untreated depression or other
  on an endless roller-coater.            mental illness.
  Survivors may feel:
   guilt, anger, blame, shame,         Survivors Are at Risk
      confusion, relief, despair,        Survivors of suicide are at a high   1-416-977-5580 or www.cmha.ca
      betrayal, abandonment               risk of completing suicide
   disconnected from their loved         themselves.
      one because he or she chose        The experience suddenly makes
      to die                              the idea of suicide very real.
   consumed by a need to find           It is not uncommon for survivors             1-866-531-2600
      the meaning and reasons for         to experience suicidal thoughts.             www.mhsio.on.ca
      the suicide

				
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