Survivor of Suicide Day



If you are having thoughts of suicide or are in a mental health crisis, you can call the crisis line at 217-359-4141, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or contact the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).


November 19 marks International Survivors of Suicide Day, a day for those who have lost a loved one to suicide to remember and come together. This day was officially recognized by the U.S. government due to the efforts of Senator Harry Reid, who lost his father to suicide, and was designated as the Saturday before American Thanksgiving to provide a source of support to survivors around the holidays.


Although any loss is painful and requires a period of grief and adjustment, those who have lost a loved one to suicide often face feelings of confusion, anger, and guilt. Stigma and shame surrounding suicide may further complicate grieving and at times make it more difficult to connect with social supports.


Those who have lost someone to suicide are at increased risk of complicated grief. While normal grief may involve intense feelings of pain, sadness, loneliness, and anger as well as disruptions in sleep, appetite, and energy, these feelings gradually decrease as a person adjusts to the loss. Complicated grief occurs when these feelings fail to improve. Signs can include inability to focus on anything but the loss, difficulty accepting the death, depression, guilt or self-blame, and feelings that life is not worth living. Complicated grief interferes with a person’s ability to function and heal, and may require treatment. If you feel you are experiencing complicated grief following any loss, it is a good idea to reach out for support.


Any person coping with a loss to suicide can benefit from seeking social support and finding ways to talk about the loss. This might mean connecting with a grief support group, a therapist, a community or religious organization, or just a trusted friend or relative. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides resources for survivors of loss to suicide, and there are virtual and in-person events to mark International Suicide Survivors Day this week. If you’re wondering how you can support a person who has lost someone to suicide, their site also provides tips for talking to a suicide loss survivor.


Find an International Suicide Survivors Day event here


Access resources for survivors of suicide loss and those who want to support them here


If you have lost someone to suicide, you are not alone in your loss, and it is possible to find healing and move forward. If you are struggling to adjust to grief and loss, therapy can help. Reach out today for a free consultation.


If you are having thoughts of suicide or are in a mental health crisis, you can call the crisis line at 217-359-4141, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or contact the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).



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