Tips for survivors of suicide |

Tips for survivors of suicide

Lisa Utzig Schafer

For many, the new year marks a time of resolutions and promises.

The pressure is on to commit to and proclaim these resolutions, which often include losing weight, saving money or going on a dream vacation. But for those who have recently lost someone they love, the new year may look a bit different.

Holidays have come and gone but the sadness of the loss still lingers. The survivors left behind may feel guilt, confusion and a deep emptiness. It is estimated that for every one person who dies by suicide, there are 6-32 survivors left behind.

If you have lost someone you love to suicide, self-care is extremely important:

Be OK with the grieving process and give yourself plenty of time

Know that others may not fully understand your pain

Seek support from friends, family, a therapist or group

Find an outlet to express yourself

Get out of the house and into the fresh air

Make sure to eat and get plenty of rest

Show yourself the same compassion and patience you would show anyone else who is grieving

If you are close to someone who is a survivor of suicide and struggling with a loss:

Listen without passing judgement, minimizing or trying to fix things

Let them grieve without telling them how they should think or feel

Don’t be afraid to talk about the person who has passed or to use his or her name

Don’t tell them how they should think or feel, let them grieve

Encourage them to seek help from a counselor or group therapy

It is important to know you are not alone. One way to feel connected and supported is to attend a monthly support group.

In South Lake Tahoe, Suicide Prevention Network hosts a support group every month on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Barton Public Relations office at 2092 South Lake Tahoe Blvd. #400 in South Lake Tahoe.

For more information contact or visit the website at

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