Over 30,000 Americans die by suicide every year. It is estimated that each of these individuals leaves behind at least 7 close friends and family members to deal with the loss. At the current time, it is estimated that there are 7 million Americans that have experienced the death of a loved one to suicide.
If you have recently experienced the death of a loved one by suicide, you are not alone. This experience is one of the most traumatic events a person can experience in their lifetime. In the initial days after the suicide, you may experience feelings of shock, denial, guilt, or shame. In the wake of a suicide, survivors often experience the following normal reactions:
- Anger and irritability
- Inability to concentrate and make decisions
- Difficulty eating and sleeping
- Physical symptoms such as headaches or upset stomachache
- Difficulty remembering things
Other survivors want you to know that you can survive, as impossible as this may seem right now. In order to get through the next few days and weeks, the following tips are recommended by professionals, as well as survivors who have walked in your shoes:
- Surround yourself with loved ones so that you are never alone
- Avoid using alcohol and drugs
- Talk to others
- Seek help in making major decisions
- If you have existing medical, psychiatric, or substance abuse issues, there is potential for relapse during this difficult time and should utilize all possible resources
- Seek medical attention for yourself, if needed
- Contact Crisis Services for professional assistance
- Understand that loved ones do not always know the right things to say…it’s okay to ask them for help and support
What Can Crisis Services Do for My Family and Me?
The Trauma Response Program at Crisis Services can provide immediate, professional support at your home or place of choice. Counselors are trained and experienced in responding to the aftermath of suicide and are available 24 hours a day for telephone support and guidance, or face-to-face services. In addition, Crisis Services can also direct you to helpful on-going services in your area. The Trauma Response Program includes suicide survivors that you can speak with as well. These volunteers have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide and can assist you during this difficult time.
Open Arms, Survivors Impacted by Suicide
Are you a suicide survivor that would like to volunteer in the Trauma Response Program at Crisis Services? If you would like to know more about being an OASIS Volunteer, please call 716-834-3131 and ask to speak to the Coordinator of the Trauma Response Program.