You’re Not Alone: Recognizing International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Losing a loved one to suicide can feel like an incredibly isolating experience, making it all the more important to spread awareness about International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day and the power of connection for promoting healing.
Also referred to as Suicide Survivors Day, this annual event encourages those bereaved by suicide to share their stories and seek out support. And in doing so, it not only helps spread general awareness about this experience, but it also reminds all survivors of suicide loss that hope and understanding are out there.
Learn more about this important day, as well as how to begin to cope if you have lost someone to suicide.
What to Know About Suicide Survivors Day
This year’s Survivors of Suicide Loss Day will take place on November 19th and will be an opportunity for individuals from all walks of life who have lost a loved one to suicide to seek peace through connection.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in America, where there is approximately 1 death from suicide every 11 minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2020, more than 12 million people seriously considered taking their own lives, while 3.2 million made a plan for suicide and 1.2 million attempted the act. In total, more than 46,000 people passed from suicide in 2020 alone.
Founded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day provides survivors with several essential ways to find community and support. This includes referrals to local groups, access to loss survivor stories, and resources for self-care.
How to Cope When a Loved One Dies by Suicide
There is no single right way to grieve the loss of a loved one by suicide. However, there are things that you can do to start navigating the process and begin the path to healing.
• Know that what you’re feeling is normal. Anger, denial, shame, confusion, and even relief are all normal things to feel, and do not negate or devalue your grief and pain.
• Seek out support. Find a therapist who specializes in coping with suicide loss. You can find additional support through organizations like the AFSP, which offer crucial resources for those who have lost someone to suicide.
• Take care of yourself. It’s all too easy to put your own needs on the backburner when dealing with loss, but self-care is integral to finding inner and outer strength. Prioritize sleep, eating, and hygiene, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help when you need it.
• Write down your thoughts. Many people find journaling helpful for unraveling complicated thoughts and feelings. Even if it’s not something you normally do, put pen to paper and see if what you write helps you process your grief and clear your mind.
• Don’t put a timeline on your grief. After a devastating loss, it can feel like the rest of the world moves on too quickly. But recognize that you’re on your own path, and that there is no “right” timeline for moving forward.
This International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, we encourage all survivors to remember that they are not alone. We also invite you to learn about Synergy Health Programs and our mental health services, including our treatment and support services for those experiencing suicidal ideation.