Don’t push for details
It is not okay to ask for details on how someone ended their life or the circumstances around it, this is very intrusive. Be a support not a journalist. This information should only ever be voluntarily shared.
Resolve never to ask why
Loved ones are often unlikely to know exactly why the person they loved chose to take their own life. Suicide is complex and many factors can influence their decision, and there are often no clear warning signs.
Be mindful of language
As our understanding of suicide evolves, the way we talk about it must as well. Choosing the right language helps to reduce stigma and supports those bereaved by suicide.
Talk about how they lived
Help them celebrate the life that person led and the mark they made on the world. If you have any photographs of their loved one now is a good time to share them, you could even put them into a frame or make a video.
Acknowledge what has happened
Death by suicide, even more than other types of bereavement, can make people feel uncomfortable and unsure of how to react. Grief is isolating and even though it’s hard make sure you acknowledge what has happened. Be persistent, but thoughtful and patient.
Let them share
When someone opens up, listen actively and respond in an encouraging way. It takes a long time to take in what has happened and it’s perfectly normal for someone to want to talk about it over and over.
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