Relationships with friends, family and colleagues may change after a person has died by suicide.
How others react to the suicide death can amplify what is already a hard emotional experience.
Difficulties can be encountered in social relationships such as:
- silence where no one talks about the death or the person;
- avoiding or withdrawing physical or verbal contact because people don't know what to say;
- stigma where judgments are made about the person or about how you are processing the grief;
- insensitivity where people are saying things that are unintentionally hurtful or unkind.
You may also feel as though you need to look after others' emotional needs but struggling to look after your own. This can all contribute to a sense of isolation. If something isn't working for you, it is ok to set boundaries, tell the other person or limit contact.
Click on the signposts below for helpful resources for navigating relationships after a suicide.
Tips on how others can support you at this time
Common responses when someone dies by suicide
Bereavement support lines:
Griefline – 1300 845 745
Support After Suicide – 03 9421 7640
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Crisis services available 24/7:
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467