What to do if someone has died by suicide?

It is very painful and complicated to lose someone to suicide.

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Everyone deals with loss in their own way and at their own pace. Be patient with yourself and know there are resources to support you during this difficult time.  Get support from a counsellor. Find a suicide loss support group.

If you are in crisis right now call the BC Suicide Help Line 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Trying to understand “why”

After a suicide, it is common to want to understand why it happened. Sadly, you will probably never have a satisfactory answer to this question. Suicide is complex and there is not usually one thing that caused the suicide. You will need to be okay with not knowing the answer to the question “why”.

Understand your feelings

While you grieve you may feel angry, confused, alone, guilty or numb. These are all common feelings after losing someone to suicide and they may come and go. Accept how you are feeling and be patient with yourself while you deal with these painful feelings.

Reach out

When you are ready, reach out to people you trust and be open with them. Talking about your loss can help you to understand your feelings. If you aren’t comfortable reaching out to someone you know, contact the BC Bereavement Helpline at 1-877-779-2223 or talk to a counsellor. Find more information in our Get Support section.

Take care of yourself

Try to get back to your hobbies and social life. If some of it doesn’t feel right, try a new hobby. Always remember to take care of yourself. How are you feeling? Are you eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep? All these things will help you and are important during this difficult time.

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