Suicide is a reality in our community. And it is happening far too often, especially among our young people.
Many Ballarat families are living with the trauma and grief of suicide. Some families understand the reason for the decision to suicide. For other families, death by suicide comes out of nowhere. Either way, the aftermath of suicide is deeply painful and often the sense of guilt can be crippling. Families and friends are left devastated and numb.
In the past, suicide has been a topic very few were willing to discuss; the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding it often made the grieving process even more difficult. Thankfully today there are a large number of support groups within the community helping those living with the aftermath. A number of these groups have been founded by those who have lost someone to suicide. These groups can offer a safe place to share your experience with people in a similar situation and connect you with a great support network.
For further information visit these sites.
On a personal level, you can help a friend bereaved by suicide by reading the Support after Suicide website (www.supportaftersuicide.org.au). This may help with understanding what may be really important to them:
· to be really listened to, heard and understood
· non judgemental, compassionate support
· an opportunity to tell the story over and over again
· a safe and supportive environment
· to be able to express their grief in their own way
· to have no time limits imposed
In the weeks and months following the death, practical support is invaluable: drop by with a meal: mow the grass or make a trip to the supermarket – these small gestures make the world of difference.
Just be there.