Grizzlies Response: Awareness and Suicide Prevention
Pawley Hall
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(map)

Survivors of Suicide Loss

If you are someone you know has suffered the loss of someone due to suicide, know that you are not alone. There are groups and individuals that understand what you are going through and want to help you. Please use the resources available here.

The impact of suicide can be profound and sometimes devastating for those who are left behind. Each year, more than 13 million people in the United States report that they have known someone who died by suicide that year. Conservative estimates suggest that there are typically at least five or six family members who are affected when a family member takes his or her life, and perhaps as many as 30 to 60 people in the larger social network who also may be affected.

Moreover, exposure to suicide carries risks for elevated rates of guilt, depression, and other psychiatric symptoms, complicated grief, and social isolation. Alarmingly, there is also compelling evidence that individuals bereaved by suicide (also referred to as “survivors of suicide loss”) may have an increased risk for suicide completion themselves.

A report of the U.S. Surgeon General and of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

Find survivor groups and/or therapists.

American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
The survivor pages on the AAS website include the e-newsletter Surviving Suicide, a directory of survivor support groups, a resource list, and materials for clinicians who have lost a patient and/or family member to suicide. AAS has also produced the SOS Handbook, a quick reference booklet for suicide survivors.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
AFSP reaches out to those who have been bereaved by suicide to offer support and to provide opportunities for them to get involved in educational, outreach, awareness, advocacy, and fundraising programs. It sponsors International Survivors of Suicide Day, a global observance where individual communities host awareness events. It also offers peer support resources, such as an e-network, a support groups directory, and the Survivor Outreach Program.

Lifeline Gallery: Stories of Hope and Recovery
This website, which is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800–273–TALK/8255), includes a section where those who have been bereaved by suicide can share with others their experiences of how the death by suicide of a loved one afected them, their family, and their community.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
SAVE’s website survivor section provides information on coping with suicide loss, talking with children resources such as a survivor groups directory and the Bereavement Caregiver Blog. Its print materials include the booklet Suicide: Coping With the Loss of a Friend or Loved One and the book Suicide Survivors: A Guide For Those Left Behind.

The Link Counseling Center
The Link provides services and support to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, including workshops, resource materials, telephone counseling, information and referrals, and trainings for survivors and professionals on creating and facilitating support groups for survivors.