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Bereaved by suicide

Every year many young people feel that they cannot bear to go on living. Most will survive a suicide attempt; a few will not. The death of a child is always shattering, but suicide is a particularly cruel form of death for the surviving family and friends who are often left not knowing why. Even if a note has been found which attempts to explain this drastic action, many people feel guilt and regularly go over what could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

For families of children who have died from suicide, there may be the additional stress of coping with the police, post-mortem, inquest, media and reactions of others. Unfortunately, suicide is still viewed unsympathetically by people who may make thoughtless and wounding comments about the selfishness of taking one’s own life.

Sadly numbers of suicides amongst young people continue grow but many bereaved parents have found help, support and comfort from knowing that others are able to share their unique pain and grief. There can be relief in knowing that others understand immediately 'how it feels' and feelings of isolation, guilt and stigma are shared and lessened.

TCF holds a group for those bereaved by suicide from 11am to 1pm on the fourth Saturday of each month (except December) at: Jessica’s Heart, 14 New King’s Street, Deptford, London SE8 3HS. This is a 'drop in' session where we meet in a safe space to share in confidence our innermost thoughts and to support each other through our grief. We also meet informally at ‘bring and share’ lunches and other social events during the year.

There is also a private Facebook group where we can 'talk to each other' online, get instantaneous help and feel listened to. We share photographs, commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, other difficult dates (Mothers’ Day or Fathers’ Day, Christmas, New Year, the holiday seasons) and also explore many other areas of grief.

Please contact Marie Best at mariebest76@gmail.com if you would like more information about the monthly meetings or to join the Facebook group.

TCF’s Online Community Forum has a special ‘Bereaved by Suicide’ section. Please email webadmin@tcf.org.uk if you would like to be part of this.

A retreat is planned for parents bereaved by suicide, addiction or substance use in June 2017 at Woodbrooke, Birmingham – further information on this event can be found here.

You can also find more information and help in our leaflet, After Suicide, which covers in greater detail important areas relating to bereavement by suicide.

The postal library has many books on bereavement and suicide and Support After Suicide has published a comprehensive booklet entitled ‘Help is at Hand’ which can be downloaded from their website.

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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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