Preventing Suicide

Helping someone who has lost a loved one to suicide

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If you or someone you know is in imminent danger of suicide take them to a hospital or call emergency services on 119.  If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, contact the following list of mental health hospitals which are available to provide crisis support.

  1. RSJ Amino Gondohutomo Semarang: (024) 6722565
  2. RSJ Marzoeki Mahdi Bogor: (0251) 8324024, 8324025, 8320467
  3. RSJ Soeharto Heerdjan Jakarta: (021) 5682841
  4. RSJ Prof Dr Soerojo Magelang: (0293) 363601
  5. RSJ Radjiman Wediodiningrat Malang: (0341) 423444

Supporting someone who has lost a loved one to suicide

Supporting someone who has lost a loved one to suicide can be challenging. Many people may feel awkward around the topic or not know what to say. However, a strong and open support system is invaluable to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Giving them the time and space to share their emotions without judgement is important.

Letting them talk and discuss their feelings, while being attentive, compassionate and understanding is a direct way to offer support. This allows them to effectively communicate with you and provides them with the courage to seek further support if it is required. It will let the person know that they are not alone and that you are there for them. 

What they might need

The needs of people experiencing loss due to suicide are different. Everyone deals with their emotions in their own ways. Some common needs that bereaved people might share are:

  • To be listened to, to be heard and understood
  • Receive non-judgemental support
  • An opportunity to tell their story
  • A safe and supportive environment
  • To be able to express their grief in their own way
  • To have no time limits imposed

Asking the person what they might need from you is an effective way of finding out how you can best support them.

What you can do

Many people feel like they are not equipped to provide adequate support to someone after they have lost a loved one to suicide. There are a number of ways in which you might provide support to someone in this situation. These include: 

  • Listen to them
  • Let them express their feelings without feeling judged
  • Let them cry or express their emotions in other ways
  • Show care and concern
  • Talk naturally about the person who has died and do not be afraid to speak their name
  • Do not be surprised or alarmed by the intensity of feelings
  • Do not ask why this occurred or if they could have done anything to prevent this

Other practical ways you can support them include: 

  • Encourage engagement in activities and exercise
  • Cooking meals for the bereaved
  • Remembering birthdays and anniversaries of the person who has passed
  • Spending time with the bereaved
  • Find out information on support services
  • Help make appointments 
  • Transportation to support services

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