Suicide Prevention Awareness: When a Loved One Takes Their Life, a Family Is Forever Changed

Date Posted

August 28, 2018


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If you have lost a loved one to suicide, you likely know the feelings of pain, guilt, shame, regret, inadequacy, anger, confusion, and grief all too well. You’ve had to learn how to manage the difficult and sometimes conflicting emotions. You’ve also had to continue living despite losing someone you love. From our hearts to yours, we send you care and compassion as you find peace and honor the life of your loved one.

During Suicide Prevention Awareness month, you may see campaigns asserting that “suicide deaths are preventable.” While there is merit in this aspiration, survivors of suicide loss may experience a resurgence of self-blame and revisit questions like, “What could I have done differently?”

Our suggestion: be gentle with yourself. You did the best you could with the information you had at the time. Remember, these suicide prevention campaigns are not judgments, but rather a call to action.

At Families for Depression Awareness, we know that shared stories of love, loss, recovery, and wellness instill a sense of hope for others. For those of us who have lost a loved one to suicide, like Shana who lost her son Owen, our stories can educate families so they might be able to avoid this tragic outcome. Although your family is forever changed and you will feel that person’s absence, your words may make a huge difference for a family trying to help a loved one.

Join with us this September and share family stories, education, and resources with your community.

If you or someone you love needs crisis support please

  • call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
  • text the Crisis Text Line. Text “HOME” to 741 741

Additional Resources

  • Tell your family story and help eliminate stigma.
  • Read our Family Stories to learn from other families managing mental health and finding hope.
  • Watch and share a short video discussing three things families can do to prevent suicides.
  • Visit and review our website for educational materials so you can help a loved one in distress.