CRISIS HOTLINE Local: 603-357-5505 | Toll Free in NH: 866-457-2910

LOSS SURVIVORS

Crisis Hotlines

Toll Free in NH:

1-866-457-2910

Local:

603-357-5505

Resources for Support

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
www.afsp.org

Survivors of Suicide
www.survivorsofsuicide.com

National Institute for Mental Health (NAMI)
www.nami.org

Survivors of Loved Ones’ Suicide
www.1000deaths.com

Compassionate Friends
(grief support after the death of a child)
www.compassionatefriends.org

Friends for Survival
(a national outreach program for survivors of suicide loss)
1-800-646-7322

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7)
1-800-273-8255

The Family Resource Connection
(provides information resources for NH families)
1-800-298-4321

Victims, Inc.
(provides volunteers who stay until the family’s own support system is in place)
1-603-335-7777

Head Rest Teen Line (24/7)
1-800-639-6095

“Part of the healing process is sharing
with people who care.”

Helpful Guidance for Survivors

  • Know you can survive. You may not think so, but you can.
  • Know you may feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings but that is normal.
  • Anger, guilt, confusion, and forgetfulness are common. You are not crazy, you are in mourning.
  • It is okay to express anger at the person, the world, at God, or at yourself.
  • You may feel guilty. Guilt can turn into regret, then to forgiveness.
  • Having suicidal thoughts is common. It does not mean that you will act on them.
  • Remember to take one moment or one day at a time.
  • Find a good listener with whom to share. Call someone if you need to talk.
  • Don’t be afraid to cry. Tears are healing.
  • Give yourself time to heal.
  • Remember, this was not your choice. NO one is the sole influence in another’s life.
  • Expect setbacks.
  • Try to put off major decisions.
  • Give yourself permission to get professional help.
  • Be aware of the pain of your family and friends.
  • Be patient with yourself and others who may not understand.
  • Set your limits and learn to say no.
  • Steer clear of people who want to tell you what or how to feel.
  • Know that there are support groups that may be helpful.
  • Call on your personal faith to see you through.
  • It is common to experience physical reactions to your grief.
  • Laughter, with others and at yourself, is healing.
  • You will never be the same, but you can survive.

Disclaimer

The diagnosis of depression and other mental illness requires trained medical professionals. The information presented here is for education purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional care.

You Are Not Alone

[1] www.aspf.org; [2] www.cdc.gov
  • Each year 42,773 Americans die of suicide. [1]
  • On average, there are 117 suicides in the U.S. every day. [1]
  • Suicide is on the rise – it increased steadily between 1999-2014 with greater annual percent increases after 2006. [2]
  • In 2011 alone, there were 836,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. by those with self-inflicted injuries. [2]
  • “Every 12 minutes, someone in America dies by suicide. Every 13 minutes someone else is left to make sense of it.” – Anonymous

Heather's Story

My brother was 26 years old when he died. Sometimes I still can’t believe it. I was heartbroken. He was such an intelligent, talented, funny, and charismatic person. He was my family. It is still so difficult to try to make sense of it.

There’s an intense guilt that comes with being a survivor of suicide loss. It’s a different loss than when a loved one dies in any other way. One of the saddest things about Jay’s death is that I really think he felt that we would all be better off without him.

In my time volunteering for The Samaritans, I have been touched by so many stories from other survivors. It has taught me that I am not alone in my struggle.

Common Reactions to Suicide Loss

Emotional

  • Grief
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Shock
  • Abandonment
  • Denial
  • Blame
  • Hopelessness
  • Numbness
  • Despair
  • Anguish
  • Loneliness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Helplessness
  • Rejection
  • Fear
  • Regret
  • Disorientation
  • Relief*

Physical

  • Crying
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Poor concentration
  • Lack of energy
  • Throat tightness
  • Difficulty breathing

Remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time. Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms persist over a long period.

*Relief can be particularly difficult to process when struggling with a suicide loss. Knowledge that a loved one is no longer suffering can be a tremendous relief, but can also fuel more guilt, despair, and shame. It is okay to feel ALL of this. But it is also important to remember that it is not your fault.