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What are support groups all about?

  • Listening: Share feelings and explore painful questions in a supportive environment. Members also share coping techniques.
  • Reassurance: Know you are not suffering alone, and that your reactions, thoughts and feelings are not unusual.
  • Opportunity: Reaching out, even in the midst of your own pain, to help others in a similar situation can be a healing experience in itself.
  • Information: Learn the facts about suicide, grief and depression.

Are My Feelings Normal?

To be at peace with the deceased, survivors must grieve. Aside from the typical aspects of grief, as a suicide survivor, you may be experiencing:

  • Stigma: Other people—sometimes even your relatives and friends—may avoid you or even blame you for the death. You might feel ashamed that such a thing happened in your family.
  • Guilt: Because suicide has been called “the preventable death,” you may think you could have kept it from happening.
  • Rejection: You may feel abandoned, reasoning that, because your loved one chose death, he or she chose not to live with you.
  • Anger: Your pain can take the form of anger toward the deceased, toward professionals for not preventing it, toward yourself, or even toward God.
  • Questioning: Survivors can be overwhelmed wondering why the person took his or her life. You may wonder what you could have done to prevent it.