According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2016, suicide was the leading cause of death among all people 15-44 years of age, and the second leading cause of death among those 45-54 years of age.
If you have recently lost a family member, friend or acquaintance through suicide; my condolences. If you feel like you are struggling to come to terms with the loss, I want you to know that supports are available and it is not a process you have to go through alone.
Whilst grief is a highly personal process, I do recommend that you take even a small amount of time to read about the grief reaction. It may well help normalise the feelings you are having, and give you hope that you will be able to emerge the other side.
Below is a selection of resources that you might find helpful. I know that what is helpful for one person is not necessarily helpful for another, so the resources below include a mix of different types. They are predominantly Australian.
Sometimes just reading about grief and bereavement is enough to normalise your feelings, and give you hope. Here are a few starting points. If you find reading about grief and loss to be helpful, you will find no shortage of content online, including good book recommendations.
Suicide Call Back articles
Lifeline article on suicide bereavement
Grief and loss articles on Reachout (forums also available)
Grief and loss article on beyondblue
The GriefLink website
In addition to reading, some people like to engage in more in-depth worth, but in a private way. If this is the case for you, you might find the free Bereavement and Loss Program, as part of ecouch useful. The program includes information on grief and loss, but also specific strategies to manage the grief.
(Note: when you first access the site, it is not obvious that there is a grief and bereavement program. Work through the online registration and questionnaires though and you will find the program.)
The Headspace website also recommends a site called What’s Your Grief, which has self guided programs on grief theory, navigating grief, managing grief on holidays and special days and grief journalling. Note that there is a cost to a few of these programs.
Talking with others is a powerful way to both address the loss, but also stay motivated to keep moving during the grieving period. Talking with loved ones is always a good first step. In addition there are some professional counselling options available to you.
Telephone, online and video chat counselling is also available from the Suicide Call Back Service.
Of course, Flinders students have access to the counselling service here on campus.
People differ in the extent to which they wish to share their grieving process with others. Some find support groups overwhelming. Others find them incredibly supportive.
They are an opportunity to hear others’ stories and what has worked for them in dealing with the loss.
The Bereaved Through Suicide (BTS) support group meets every month in the city (telephone support also available).
There are other online support groups, but many are based outside of Australia. Please let me know if you find a good one.
Commonly I find that people going through tough times find resources, other than the recommended ones, that are incredibly helpful to them. If this is the case, and you feel comfortable doing so, please consider sharing those resources, by commenting below, or sending privately to me firstname.lastname@example.org.