Coping with Loss from Suicide

If you lose someone to suicide

It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that millions of people are impacted by suicide loss. The loss of a loved one to suicide is often shocking and deeply upsetting. It is common to feel guilt, emptiness, confusion, anger, or even that your own life is not worth living.

Postvention is an organized response following a suicide that aims to reduce further suicide risk by identifying
and supporting the emotional and mental health needs of the survivors.

If you or someone you are supporting identify as a suicide loss survivor, please contact the county’s Suicide
Prevention Coordinator at gallimur@clackamas.us. Ideally, you will provide the name(s) of the person(s)
needing support, contact information and their relationship to the deceased.
For time-sensitive needs or for immediate attention or support, please use our 24/7 Crisis and Support Line at
503-655-8585.

Support Available to You

Immediate Support

Along with local chaplains, the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) is called to the scene after a suicide occurs to provide emotional first aid to families and other impacted individuals. They may offer referrals or resources, such as helping to choose a funeral home. The Medical Examiner will also discuss ongoing Postvention support with loss survivors.

Short- and Long-term Support

With information provided by the Medical Examiner or TIP, the Postvention Team at Clackamas MHC will
contact identified survivors to facilitate any or all of the following:

  1.  Exploring resources, including natural or community supports like suicide loss bereavement groups
  2. Offering no cost peer services and mental health treatment at Clackamas MHC
  3. Normalizing common grief responses to minimize complicated grief and guilt reactions
  4. Inquiring as to who else might need postvention contact
  5. Planning a future call to check in and provide additional support, especially around anniversary or other important dates

Resources

How to cope

It is important to take care of yourself after a loss. Here are some ways to be sure you are coping in a healthy way:

  • Lean on your community for support as you grieve the loss of a loved one – talking about your loss is an important step in healing.
  • Grieve at your own pace. Everyone grieves in different ways, do what feels right for you. Don't be hurried by expectations that it's been "long enough."
  • Find a support group. You are not alone, and talking to others who understand about what happened can help enormously.
  • Know when to seek professional help. It’s okay to ask for help. We have trained professionals available 24/7, by calling the Crisis and Support Line at 503-655-8585.

Office Hours:

24/7 crisis and support line:
503-655-8585

Non-emergency:
503-742-5335

TTY: 
711 or 1-800-735-1232

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