6 Ways To Cope After A Child Or Teen Dies By Suicide

Alvin Bonds, II

6 Ways To Cope After A Child Or Teen Dies By Suicide

  1. There is no single reason someone dies by suicide.  There are many factors such as an individual who may have been struggling with a mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, mood changes and more.  Factors such as bullying or harassment and access to lethal means should also be taken into consideration.
  2. Give yourself permission to heal and feel.  A loss of life is impactful no matter the circumstances, so give yourself permission to take time off from work or school and allow yourself time to heal from the loss.
  3. The way a child grieves is similar to an adult but it is not always identical.  Keep an open line of communication between you and a child or teen who may be affected by the loss of life.  Emotions such as sadness, anger, hopelessness and guilt are some of the feelings individuals experience after a loss of life.
  4. Don’t underestimate the effect of the loss of life.  It is not necessary for a child or teen to have had a personal relationship with the individual who died by suicide…the loss of life is far-reaching and has a ripple effect on children and adults.
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk, and don’t be afraid to listen.  Friends and classmates of the child or teen who died by suicide will experience a range of emotions and will have several thoughts and questions running through their heads and will need someone to process these thoughts with.  It’s okay to listen and it’s okay to not know what to say.
  6. Utilize supports that are available. Mental health professionals are available to assist individuals in grief processing.  There are many support groups available and materials online to help individuals who are grieving, as well as providing support to individuals who may be currently having thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Additional Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Alvin Bonds, II & Suicide Prevention & Awareness

Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors

Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

StopBullying.gov

Team Mica Fund

Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network

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