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HELP FIGHT THE STIGMA

© 2019 by Paula Fontenelle

When grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, it is common to feel isolated, with nowhere to turn to for comfort. This is partly due to the stigma associated with self-inflicted death. Another reason is the nature of the loss itself.

Coming to terms with the fact that a loved one "chose" to end their life leaves the individual feeling lost and alone in their experience, because suicide is not an issue that people tend to easily talk about. If no one brings it up, then how can those left behind share their pain?

 

One of the ways is by participating in a community that will respect and understand the uniqueness of what you are going through. This can be done by reading books, connecting with online forums, calling hotlines, or joining a support group. Below, you can find a list of options to help you on this healing path.

Online support material

  1. Help & Hope: a guide for survivors of suicide loss - Created by STOP Suicide Northeast Indiana.

  2. SOS: A handbook for survivors of suicide, by Jeffrey Jackson.

  3. Suicide Prevention Resources for Survivors of Suicide Loss - a list by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, SPRS.

  4. Handling special occasions, by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

 

Memoirs (books)

For a more comprehensive list of books, click on the Resources Page.

  1. Darkness Visible: a memoir of madness - William Styron

  2. Night falls fast: understanding suicide - Kay Redfield Jamison

  3. An unquiet mind: a memoir of moods and madness - Kay Redfield Jamison

  4. Noonday Demon: an atlas of depression - Andres Solomon

  5. No time to say good-bye - Carla Fine

  6. A grief observed: C. S. Lewis

  7. Grieving a Suicide: A Loved One's Search for Comfort, Answers, and Hope - Albert H. Hsu

  8. Dying to Be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After a Suicide - Beverly Cobain and Jean Larch

  9. No one cares about crazy people - Ron Powers

  10. Notes from the everlost: a field guide to grief - Kate Inglis

  11. Out came the sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family - Mariel Hemingway

External Book Lists

  1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Find a support group

  1. International Association for Suicide Prevention - It helps find groups, crisis centers, online forums, and hotlines all over the world.

  2. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - This site covers the US, Brazil, Hong Kong, Canada, India, Nepal, and Australia.

  3. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, SAVE (US).

  4. American Association of Suicidology.

  5. Lifeline Australia - Resources, chat and phone number.

Organizations and sites

  1. Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors - Information sheets, a blog, and a community forum that operates as a 24/7 support group with a team of trained moderators and a mental health clinician.

  2. Friends for Survival - Created for people who have lost family or friends to suicide and professionals who work with people who have been touched by suicide. It offers a suicide loss Helpline (1-800-646- 7322).

  3. Finding Hope - Information sheets, appropriate language, general guidelines for survivors, and mental illness.

  4. The Compassionate Friends - Community-based grief support for parents who lost a child.