Approximately 85% of people in the United States know someone personally who has completed suicide. For each person who dies by suicide, at least 6 loved ones are directly affected by the loss. Survivors of suicide loss are at higher risk of developing major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal behaviors, and they may experience prolonged and complicated grief. There may also be religious or cultural stigma around losing a loved one to suicide, which can keep survivors away from much needed support and healing resources.
November 19 is a day for survivors of suicide loss to know they are not alone. If you are a suicide loss survivor, we hope you will find comfort and support in some of the resources provided below. If you know someone who has been affected by suicide, please take a moment to reach out and send a message of support.
What You Can Do:
- Attend or host a Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is hosting film screenings and discussions across the country on November 19. Click here to search for events in the Bay Area.
- If you cannot attend in person, on Survivor Day AFSP will host a 90-minute program that will include a screening of the documentary Life Journeys; a post-screening discussion on coping with a suicide loss; and a Q&A with online viewers.
Resources for Suicide Loss Survivors:
- Crisis Support Services of Alameda County: provides low-fee counseling to adults who are bereaved or affected by the traumatic loss through suicide, homicide, or sudden loss. Click here to find a support group.
- American Association of Suicidology Suicide Loss Survivor Resources
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Suicide Loss Survivor Resources
- Help and Hope for Survivors of Suicide Loss – Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- Suicide: Finding Hope -- website with resources for suicide loss and suicide attempt survivors.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.