Following the recent tragic events of lead Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington and singer Chris Cornell committing suicide, I thought I would write about ways to help those who are left behind to come to terms with suicide.
Below are a few ideas which are by no means exhaustive and if you are concerned about your mental health please see your GP or speak to a mental health professional.
Join a support group
Meeting others that have been in your position can help you through this difficult time. Being in it together can help you remember you are not alone in this world. Try and find a group that’s led by a mental health professional so that the conversation stays productive. You can find local groups online and on facebook. If you cant find a group near you, consider starting your own with the help of a local suicide awareness organization/ charity.
Writing/ drawing out your thoughts
Some people’s minds work well by writing out their thoughts, which can lead to a sense of relief. Externalizing thoughts can help your mind process those feelings. Other people are more visual and it can help by externalizing thoughts through creating a picture of those emotions. You could even write a poem about how you are feeling/ remembering your loved one.
Surround yourself with friends/ family and loved ones as soon as you feel able
It is important to take some time off work and you may not feel like speaking to anyone. However surrounding yourself with supportive people who care for you can help you feel better and it is important not to cut yourself out from the outside world and do activities you enjoy as soon as you feel able to do so.
Do exercise and physical activity
Physical exercise such as running, going to a gym/ exercise class can help release pent-up emotions. Exercise also helps to release hormones in your brain that make you feel happier.
There are many books out there that help you with the aftermath of loss.
“After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief” is written by two psychologists written in a time line following the days, weeks and months after a loss providing different ways to cope with grief as time moves on.
“Someone I Love Died by Suicide: A Story for Child Survivors and Those Who Care for Them”: This illustrated book written by a professional counsellor uses simple language and can help younger children and families come to terms with the loss and should be used in conjunction with therapy.
Speak to a qualified grief/ bereavement counsellor
Speaking to a counsellor can help you to process any emotions you may feel after a suicide loss. Opening up whether it be days or years after the event can help you come to terms with any unresolved questions you may have and they can guide you through the bereavement process. or speak to your GP through the NHS route.
Ways to memorialize your loved one
Raise money for a charity specific to mental health issues/ suicide in an event such as a run. Doing something positive to help raise money and awareness of mental health issues and suicide can be a really positive way to try and do some good after a tragic event and help other people.
Plant a tree in their honour – these can be a positive, long lasting and environmentally friendly way to memorialize someone you have lost
Create a memorial bench- Benches with a plaque of your loved one can be put in areas such as where there is an amazing view in places significant to your loved one. In future sitting on this bench overlooking an amazing view can help you reflect on your loss.
Please comment if you have any particular coping mechanisms that help you remember a loved one.
Source: Dr julian