World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

World Suicide Prevention Day is marked around the world on 10th September, to raise awareness around suicide, reduce stigma and encourage people to find support when they need it.

Every life lost by suicide is a tragedy which has ripple effects throughout families and communities.  In 2018, more than 6,800 people died by suicide in the UK, and every death affected those who knew and loved them.

If you are grieving, or supporting someone who is grieving after a death by suicide

It is important that you are allowed to grieve in your own way, and with the support of those around you.

Find ways to remember the person who has died, whether that is through creating rituals, memorials, or gathering to celebrate their life.

If you know someone recently bereaved, don’t avoid them or feel that you can’t talk about the person or their death.  This will only make them feel more isolated and alone. Make sure you contact the person, even if they haven’t contacted you.  Don’t be frightened of upsetting them – they are already upset – but do think carefully about your own comments which could be considered insensitive or thoughtless.

We see first-hand the grief and loss associated with all bereavement, but death by suicide can even more difficult, with complex emotions attached.

There is often a Shame and stigma still attached to suicide which Suicide Prevention Day is keen to tackle.  People can have misconceptions or judgements about suicide which can be get in the way of offering or accepting support. 

The way someone dies can also be traumatic.  It is often sudden or violent, and unexpected, which can leave people dealing with shock and PTSD later on.  There may also be media attention, or an investigation which can impact on people’s privacy at a very vulnerable time.

There are so many questions that are raised about why someone would choose to die in this way, and whether it could have been different. 

Many people feel Anger with the person who died, for not asking for or accepting help.  They may also feel anger for those around them for not doing more to prevent it.

Guilt often comes alongside.  Suicide is not the fault of those around them, but they may nevertheless be left with guilt that they could have done more.

These heightened feelings can make immediate arrangements difficult, and we always do our very best to handle everyone’s needs sensitively.

If you are struggling with your own grief

However, someone has died, grief can bring intense and painful emotions that can be difficult to deal with.  These feelings can last indefinitely but will change over time.  They are not something you should ever feel you need to ‘get over’.

We see people in the very early stages of grief but recognise the lasting impact it can have on other areas of your life, such as your relationships, work, or your mental health.

Know that you are not alone.

If you are grieving, however much time has passed, think about doing a few things to help.

Talk about your loved one

Don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel.  Do you have a trusted friend or colleague that can listen to you?  They don’t have to offer advice, or solutions, just be there for you.

Look after your physical health

It can help to start with the very basics of making sure you are eating properly, drinking enough water, and getting enough exercise and sleep. Being around nature can often make people feel emotionally stronger as well as better physically.

Drink, drugs and risky behaviours

People neglect themselves when they are grieving and turn to things which help in the very short term but make things worse in the long run.  Drink and drugs are both depressants once the initial effects have worn off.  It can feel like nothing matters, so you take risks with yourself through things such as careless driving or dangerous activities.

Asking for help

If any of these feel like they apply to you, then ask for help.  Visit your GP and talk through how you feel. There are also a number of organisations that can offer support, many of them run by people who have similar experiences.

Here are a list of resources that you may find useful

The Samaritans – Call on 116 123

The Good Grief Trust


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

Support After Suicide Partnership

For more information, visit World Suicide Prevention Day