Survivors of Suicide Counselling

Survivors of suicide counselling

Dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide is an incredibly challenging and painful experience. The journey of healing and overcoming the grief can be overwhelming, and many survivors often find themselves in need of support and guidance. Counselling services provide a safe and compassionate space for survivors to navigate through their emotions, thoughts, and questions.

Counselling services offer survivors of suicide a unique opportunity to connect with professionals who specialize in grief and loss. These professionals are trained to provide support and guidance to help survivors cope with the complex emotions that arise in the aftermath of suicide. Whether it’s anger, guilt, confusion, or a mixture of all, counselling offers a safe space to express and process these emotions.

Survivors of suicide often struggle with feelings of isolation and shame. They may question their own actions or wonder if there was something they could have done to prevent the tragedy. Counselling services can help survivors navigate through these feelings by offering a non-judgmental and empathetic environment. They can provide survivors with the tools and strategies to cope with their grief and move forward in their healing journey.

Grief is a complex and deeply personal experience, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Counselling services recognize and respect this diversity, tailoring their approach to meet the unique needs of each individual survivor. They can provide support for both the immediate aftermath of the loss and the long-term healing process.

If you are a survivor of suicide, seeking out counselling services can be an important step in your healing journey. Reach out to local mental health organizations or professionals who specialize in grief counselling. Remember, you do not have to face this journey alone. With support and guidance, you can find strength, healing, and hope.

Understanding the Impact of Suicide

Suicide is a deeply complex and multifaceted issue that has a profound impact on both individuals and communities. It is important to recognize and understand the various aspects of this impact in order to provide effective support and guidance to survivors.

1. Emotional Impact:

The emotional impact of suicide is often overwhelming. Survivors may experience a wide range of emotions including guilt, anger, shame, sadness, confusion, and numbness. These emotions are often exacerbated by the sudden and unexpected nature of suicide, as well as the complex mix of feelings associated with grief and loss.

2. Psychological Impact:

The psychological impact of suicide can have long-lasting effects on survivors. They may struggle with feelings of self-blame, questioning whether they could have prevented the suicide or if they missed signs of distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are common psychological reactions among survivors.

3. Social Impact:

The social impact of suicide can be profound, affecting not only the immediate family and friends of the person who died by suicide, but also the larger community. Survivors may face stigma, isolation, judgment, and dismissal of their grief. The loss of a loved one to suicide can also strain relationships and lead to social withdrawal.

4. Physical Impact:

The physical impact of suicide can manifest in various ways. Survivors may experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, and headaches. They may also engage in self-harming behaviors or develop substance abuse problems as a means of coping with their grief and distress.

5. Financial Impact:

The financial impact of suicide can be significant. Funeral expenses, loss of income, therapy costs, and legal fees are just a few of the financial burdens that survivors may face. These financial challenges can add additional stress to an already difficult situation, making it harder for survivors to access the support they need.

In order to provide effective support and guidance to survivors of suicide, it is crucial to consider and address the various dimensions of the impact that suicide can have on individuals and communities.

Finding Acceptance and Healing

Dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide can be overwhelming and painful. However, it is important to find acceptance and begin the healing process. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Allow yourself to grieve: It is important to acknowledge and accept your emotions. Give yourself permission to grieve and feel the pain of the loss.
  • Seek support: Reach out to supportive family and friends who can provide a listening ear and offer comfort. Consider joining a support group for survivors of suicide to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss.
  • Find a counselor: A professional counselor or therapist with experience in grief and loss can provide valuable guidance and support during this difficult time.
  • Take care of yourself: Remember to prioritize self-care. Engage in activities that bring you joy and provide a sense of solace, whether it’s exercising, practicing mindfulness, or pursuing hobbies.
  • Educate yourself: Understanding suicide and its underlying causes can help in the healing process. Educate yourself about mental health and suicide prevention to prevent further loss.
  • Consider participating in memorial events: Attending memorial events such as walks, vigils, or support group gatherings can provide an opportunity to honor your loved one’s memory and connect with others who are going through a similar experience.
  • Connect with spirituality: If spirituality or religion plays a significant role in your life, seeking guidance and support from a spiritual leader or community may offer comfort and a sense of purpose.

Remember, healing is a gradual process, and everyone’s journey is unique. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself as you navigate the path to acceptance and healing. Reach out for help when needed, and know that support is available.

The Importance of Professional Support

Professional support plays a crucial role in helping survivors of suicide cope with their grief and begin the healing process. Losing a loved one to suicide can be an overwhelming and traumatic experience, and it is important for survivors to have access to dedicated professionals who can provide guidance, understanding, and support.

Validation of Feelings

One of the key benefits of professional support is that it provides a safe and non-judgmental space for survivors to express their feelings and emotions. Often, individuals who have lost someone to suicide may experience a range of complex emotions, including guilt, anger, blame, and sadness. A professional counselor or therapist can validate these feelings and help survivors understand that what they are going through is normal.

Grief Education

Professional support also offers survivors the opportunity to learn more about the grieving process and the specific challenges that may arise after losing someone to suicide. Grief education can help survivors understand the unique aspects of suicide loss, such as feelings of stigma or shame, and provide them with tools and strategies to navigate their grief journey.

Coping Strategies

Through counseling or therapy, survivors can gain practical coping strategies to handle their grief and move forward in a healthy and productive manner. Professionals can help survivors identify self-care techniques, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and build a support network of friends and family members who can offer ongoing support.

Providing Perspective and Guidance

Professional support can provide survivors with the perspective and guidance they need to make sense of their loss and find meaning in their grief. Grief can be a confusing and isolating experience, and having a trained professional to guide survivors through the process can offer clarity and direction.

Connection to Resources

Counselors and therapists specializing in suicide bereavement have access to a wealth of resources and information that can be invaluable to survivors. They can provide referrals to support groups, online forums, and other community resources that can further aid survivors in their healing journey.

In conclusion, professional support is essential for survivors of suicide in order to help them navigate the complex emotions and challenges that come with their loss. The guidance, understanding, and resources provided by trained professionals can make a significant difference in the healing and recovery process.

Counselling Services for Survivors

Survivors of suicide often experience a wide range of emotions and challenges in the aftermath of their loss. Counselling services specifically designed for survivors are essential in helping them navigate their grief and find healing and support.

Individual Counselling:

Individual counselling involves one-on-one sessions with a trained professional therapist who specializes in grief and loss. These sessions provide a safe and confidential space for survivors to express their feelings, process their grief, and work towards healing. The therapist may use various techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma-focused therapy, or person-centered therapy to help survivors cope with their emotions and develop healthy coping strategies.

Group Counselling:

Group counselling brings together a small group of survivors who have experienced similar losses. This setting allows survivors to connect with others who understand their pain and share their grief journey. Group counselling provides a sense of community, support, and validation as survivors listen to and learn from each other. Group sessions are typically facilitated by a therapist who guides discussions and provides a safe and nonjudgmental environment for sharing and healing.

Online Counselling:

Online counselling services provide survivors with convenient and accessible options for receiving support. Through video, phone, or chat sessions, survivors can connect with certified therapists from the comfort of their own homes. Online counselling offers flexibility in scheduling and eliminates barriers such as travel or transportation. Survivors can access the support they need from anywhere, making it particularly helpful for those living in rural or remote areas.

Grief Education and Workshops:

Grief education and workshops provide survivors with information and resources to better understand the grieving process and cope with their loss. These sessions may cover topics such as the stages of grief, self-care strategies, and how to support children or other family members affected by suicide. Workshops can also offer practical tools and techniques to manage distressing emotions and build resilience.

Referrals and Resources:

Counselling services for survivors often include referrals to other professionals and resources that may be beneficial in the healing process. This can include referrals to support groups, psychiatric services for medication management, and community organizations that offer additional assistance. The therapist can help survivors navigate the available resources and provide guidance in finding the appropriate support for their individual needs.

Family Counselling:

Family counselling is a specialized service that focuses on supporting the entire family unit through the grieving process. It aims to improve family communication, enhance mutual understanding, and foster a sense of togetherness. Family counselling can be particularly beneficial when survivors include children or other family members who may have unique needs and challenges as they mourn the loss of a loved one.


Counselling services for survivors of suicide offer essential support and guidance in navigating the complex emotions and challenges that often arise after the loss of a loved one to suicide. These services provide a safe space for healing, connecting with others who share similar experiences, and accessing the resources needed for the grief journey.

Dealing with Grief and Guilt

When a loved one dies by suicide, it can be a devastating experience for those left behind. Grief and guilt are common emotions that survivors often struggle with. Here are some strategies for dealing with grief and guilt:

  • Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups who can provide understanding and comfort during this difficult time.
  • Remember it’s not your fault: It’s important to understand that you are not responsible for the actions of your loved one. Suicide is a complex issue that is often the result of a combination of factors.
  • Process your emotions: Give yourself permission to feel grief and guilt. Allow yourself to cry, journal, or engage in other activities that can help you process your emotions.
  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial during this challenging period. Make sure to eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough rest.
  • Recognize the signs of guilt: Guilt may manifest in different ways, such as thinking “what if” scenarios or blaming yourself for not doing enough. Recognize these signs and challenge negative self-talk.
  • Consider therapy: Seeking professional help through therapy or counseling can be beneficial in navigating the complex emotions of grief and guilt.
  • Connect with others who have experienced similar losses: Support groups specifically for suicide survivors can provide a safe space for sharing experiences and finding comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

It’s important to remember that healing takes time, and everyone’s journey through grief and guilt is unique. Be patient with yourself, and don’t hesitate to seek help when needed.

Building Resilience and Coping Strategies

Building resilience and developing effective coping strategies are essential for individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. These techniques can help survivors navigate the complex emotions and challenges that often accompany such a loss. Here are some strategies that can aid in the healing process:

  • Seeking professional support: It is crucial for survivors to reach out to professional counselors or therapists who specialize in grief and bereavement. These experts can provide guidance and support tailored to individual needs.
  • Creating a support network: Connecting with others who have experienced a similar loss can be tremendously beneficial. Support groups or online communities specifically for suicide survivors can provide a safe space for sharing experiences and emotions.
  • Practicing self-care: Taking care of oneself physically, mentally, and emotionally is essential. Engaging in activities that bring joy, such as exercising, meditating, or participating in hobbies, can provide a sense of normalcy and relief.
  • Learning about grief: Understanding the grief process can help survivors make sense of their emotions and thoughts. Reading books or articles, attending workshops, or taking part in educational programs designed for suicide survivors can be highly informative and empowering.
  • Engaging in creative outlets: Art therapy, journaling, or other creative forms of expression can provide a safe outlet for processing emotions and thoughts. Engaging in these activities can promote healing and self-discovery.
  • Setting realistic expectations: Grieving takes time, and it is essential to be patient with oneself. Allowing for ups and downs, setbacks, and progress is crucial in the healing journey.
  • Practicing mindfulness: Cultivating mindfulness can help survivors stay present in the moment and cope with overwhelming emotions. Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, guided meditations, or yoga can promote calmness and emotional stability.
  • Building on strengths and resilience: Recognizing personal strengths and resilience can be empowering. Focusing on these strengths can help survivors navigate challenges with increased confidence and determination.
  • Seeking meaning and purpose: Exploring ways to find meaning in the loss can aid in the healing process. Engaging in activities or causes that honor the memory of the loved one can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Remember, each individual’s healing journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is essential for survivors to explore various coping strategies and find the ones that resonate with them personally. With time, support, and self-compassion, it is possible to build resilience and find a path towards healing and hope.

Creating a Support Network

When dealing with the loss of a loved one to suicide, it is crucial to have a strong support network in place. Building a support network can provide survivors with understanding, comfort, and guidance during this challenging time.

1. Family and Friends:

Reach out to your family and close friends to let them know what you are going through. They can provide emotional support, lend a listening ear, and help you navigate through your grieving process. Surrounding yourself with loved ones who care about your well-being can make a significant difference in your healing journey.

2. Support Groups:

Consider joining a support group specifically designed for survivors of suicide loss. These groups provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, emotions, and coping strategies with others who have gone through similar situations. Support groups can provide a sense of belonging and community, and can be found locally or online.

3. Mental Health Professionals:

Seeking professional help is essential for survivors of suicide loss. Licensed therapists and counselors can offer specialized guidance and support tailored to your unique needs. They can help you process your grief, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and navigate the complexities of bereavement.

4. Helplines and Crisis Services:

There are numerous helplines and crisis services available for individuals in crisis or in need of immediate assistance. These services are staffed by trained professionals who can provide support, information, and resources. It is important to keep these contact numbers readily available in case of emergencies.

5. Online Resources:

There are several online resources dedicated to supporting survivors of suicide loss. Websites, forums, and blogs can provide valuable information, tips, and stories of resilience. Engaging with online communities can help reduce the feeling of isolation and provide a platform for sharing and connecting with others who have had similar experiences.

6. Self-Care:

Lastly, it is crucial to prioritize self-care during this difficult time. Engaging in activities that bring you joy and comfort, such as exercise, journaling, or listening to music, can help alleviate stress and promote healing. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential in building resilience and navigating the grieving process.

In conclusion, creating a support network is crucial for survivors of suicide loss. Whether it’s through family and friends, support groups, mental health professionals, helplines, online resources, or practicing self-care, having a strong support network can provide comfort, guidance, and healing during this challenging time.

Long-Term Recovery and Remembering Loved Ones

After experiencing the loss of a loved one to suicide, the journey of recovery is ongoing and unique to each individual. It is important to remember that healing takes time and that seeking support and guidance through counseling services can be instrumental in this long-term recovery process.

Grieving Process

The grieving process after a suicide can be complex and involve a range of emotions such as shock, guilt, anger, and sadness. It is essential to allow oneself to feel these emotions and seek professional help if needed to navigate through the grief.

Support Groups

Joining a support group specifically for survivors of suicide can be comforting and helpful in the healing process. Sharing experiences with others who have gone through similar situations can provide a sense of understanding and validation.

Therapeutic Techniques

Counseling services often offer therapeutic techniques to aid in the recovery process. These may include individual therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques. They can provide tools and strategies for coping with grief and building resilience.


Taking care of oneself is crucial during the long-term recovery process. This can include engaging in activities that bring joy, practicing self-compassion, getting enough rest, eating well, and exercising regularly. Self-care can help with managing stress and improving overall well-being.

Remembering Loved Ones

Remembering loved ones who have died by suicide is an integral part of the long-term recovery process. Some ways to honor and remember them include:

  • Creating a memory box with meaningful items and photos.
  • Writing letters or journaling about memories and feelings.
  • Participating in memorial events or walks for suicide prevention.
  • Planting a tree or dedicating a bench in their honor.
  • Supporting suicide prevention organizations in their memory.

Continued Support

It is important to continue seeking support and guidance as needed throughout the long-term recovery process. Counseling services can provide an ongoing source of support and help individuals navigate the challenges that may arise.


The long-term recovery process after the loss of a loved one to suicide can be challenging, but with the right support and guidance, healing is possible. Remembering loved ones and engaging in self-care are important components of this journey, and counseling services can play a vital role in providing the necessary support and guidance.

Questions and answers

What are counselling services for survivors of suicide?

Counselling services for survivors of suicide are specialized programs that provide emotional support and guidance to individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. These services aim to help survivors cope with their grief, understand their feelings, and develop strategies for healing and rebuilding their lives.

How can counselling services help survivors of suicide?

Counselling services can help survivors of suicide in several ways. Professional counsellors can provide a safe and nonjudgmental space for survivors to express their emotions and talk about their experiences. They can also offer guidance and support in navigating the complex grief process, helping survivors understand and manage their feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness. Counselling can also provide survivors with coping strategies and tools to help them rebuild their lives after such a traumatic loss.

Is counselling for survivors of suicide expensive?

The cost of counselling services for survivors of suicide can vary depending on the type of service and the provider. Some counselling services may be covered by insurance, while others may offer sliding-scale fees based on income. Additionally, there are organizations and support groups that provide free or low-cost counselling services specifically for survivors of suicide. It’s important to explore all available options and resources to find a service that is affordable and suitable for your needs.

What should I expect during a counselling session for survivors of suicide?

During a counselling session for survivors of suicide, you can expect to have a confidential and supportive environment to talk about your emotions, thoughts, and experiences. The counsellor will listen actively, ask questions to help you explore your feelings, and provide guidance and empathy throughout the session. The sessions may focus on different aspects of grief and healing, and the counsellor may suggest various coping strategies and techniques to help you on your journey towards healing.

Where can I find counselling services for survivors of suicide?

There are several resources available to find counselling services for survivors of suicide. You can start by contacting local mental health organizations or suicide prevention hotlines, as they often have information on support services for survivors. Online directories and search engines can also help you locate counsellors and therapy centers specializing in grief and bereavement. It’s important to reach out and ask for help, as there are dedicated professionals and organizations ready to support you in your healing process.

How long does counselling for survivors of suicide usually last?

The length of counselling for survivors of suicide can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. Some individuals may find that a few sessions provide sufficient support and guidance, while others may benefit from long-term therapy to address more complex emotions and challenges. It’s important to have open communication with your counsellor and discuss your goals and expectations for therapy, so that together you can determine the most appropriate duration and frequency of sessions for your specific situation.

Are counselling services only available for immediate family members of suicide victims?

No, counselling services for survivors of suicide are not limited to immediate family members. These services are available for anyone who has been affected by the loss of a loved one to suicide, including friends, extended family members, coworkers, and other individuals in the person’s support network. Grief and healing do not discriminate based on relationship, and it is important for anyone impacted by suicide to seek the support they need to heal and rebuild their lives.


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