Grief Support Resources

Navigating Life After a Loss to Suicide

If you’re visiting this page, you’ve likely experienced one of the most painful and devastating experiences of your life: losing a loved one to suicide. The following resources aim to offer support to you in the wake of this tremendous loss.

Want support from other suicide loss survivors?

You may be experiencing a host of emotions in the wake of this loss: guilt, shock, anger, sorrow, or even relief. Although you may feel misunderstood or isolated by those around you, you are not alone in your grief journey. We’re here to help you cope with these emotions.

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Children

Children, Teens, and Suicide Loss
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Dougy Center provide a guidebook for helping young loss survivors after a suicide, including chapters on navigating the immediate aftermath, helping young people cope and heal, and deciding if your child needs additional support.

Camp Kita
Camp Kita is a summer bereavement camp in Rome, ME open to children ages 8-17 who are survivors of a loved one’s suicide.

Camp Stepping Stones
Camp Stepping Stones is a family retreat in Beverly, MA for children and adults who have experienced the death of someone close to them.

The Children’s Room
The Children’s Room of Arlington, MA creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone.

The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families
The Dougy Center of Portland, OR provides a safe place for children, teens, young adults and their families who are grieving a death to share their experiences through peer support groups, education, and training.

Jeff’s Place
Jeff’s Place in Framingham, MA offers comprehensive bereavement support services ensuring that all children, teens, and families experience a healthy grieving process in a supportive environment.

Peer-to-Peer Resources

Alliance of Hope Online Message Board
The Alliance of Hope provides healing support for people coping with the shock, excruciating grief, and complex emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one to suicide. Their online message board operates like a 24/7 support group.

American Association of Suicidology Support Group Directory
The American Association of Suicidology promotes the understanding and prevention of suicide and supports those who have been affected by it. Their nationwide directory can help you find a support group near you.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Support Group Directory
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. Their support group directory provides listings for the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, and China.

Samaritans, Inc.
Samaritans, Inc. provides bi-monthly SafePlace meetings – peer support groups – for suicide loss survivors in Boston, Framingham, Medford, Needham, Quincy, and Worcester, as well as personal Survivor to Survivor home visits. Several events for suicide loss survivors are held each year, including an annual memorial service, presentations on grief after suicide, and a 5K run/walk.

Samaritans Southcoast
Samaritans Southcoast facilitates bi-monthly grief support groups for suicide loss survivors. 

Samaritans of Merrimack Valley
Samaritans of Merrimack Valley facilitates bi-monthly grief support groups for suicide loss survivors, held in Beverly and North Andover, as well as home visits providing support services directly to survivors.

The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands
The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands facilitate grief support groups for suicide loss survivors. 

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Clinical Support & Counseling

Clinicians trained in suicide bereavement by Dr. Jack Jordan
The Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program provides those who have lost a loved one to suicide with a list of clinicians who are knowledgeable about bereavement after suicide and willing to provide grief therapy for survivors.

EMDR Institute
The EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Institute of Watsonville, CA offers quality trainings in the EMDR methodology, a treatment approach which has been empirically validated in over 24 randomized studies of trauma victims.

HelpPRO Therapist Finder
HelpPRO‘s Therapist Finder carefully identifies users’ needs and interests and matches these with therapists’ capabilities.

Justice Resource Institute – Trauma Center
The Trauma Center in Brookline, MA provides comprehensive services to traumatized children and adults and their families.

Riverside Trauma Center
Riverside Trauma Center in Needham, MA provides critical incident services to communities, schools, health and human services providers, organizations, government agencies, workplaces, and individuals in many areas of Massachusetts. Riverside Trauma Center offers grief counseling for children, adults, and families in Massachusetts, with a special expertise in responding to grief after suicide.

William James College INTERFACE Referral Service
The William James INTERFACE Referral Service collects and categorizes a wide range of valuable resources related to mental health and wellness for the benefit of the general public — children, adults and families — as well as educators and mental health professionals.

Zencare Clinician Directory
Browse therapist videos and book a free phone call to find your ideal therapist.

Statewide, Regional, and Local Initiatives

Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention
The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention is a broad-based inclusive alliance of suicide prevention advocates, including public and private agency representatives, policy makers, suicide survivors, mental health and public health consumers and providers and concerned citizens dedicated to working together to reduce the incidence of suicide and self-harm in the Commonwealth.

Suicide Prevention Coalitions across Massachusetts
A list of statewide, regional, and community coalitions

Volunteer with Samaritans
Volunteering at Samaritans is a life-changing opportunity to help others in your community. Whether for a one-day event or a longer-term commitment, we have volunteer positions that will enrich your life, including befriending on the 24/7 Helpline, facilitating Grief Support Services, or assisting with our 5K and Breakfast for Hope.

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Suicide Prevention Organizations

Samaritans, Inc.
(serving Greater Boston and MetroWest/Central MA)
Samaritans, Inc. reduces the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in our community, 24 hours a day; educates the public about suicide prevention; helps those who have lost a loved one to suicide; and to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.

Samaritans Southcoast
Samaritans Southcoast provides a free and confidential suicide prevention and crisis hotline staffed by caring, trained volunteers available seven days a week from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM. 

Samaritans of Merrimack Valley
Samaritans of Merrimack Valley strives to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Merrimack Valley and throughout Massachusetts by providing befriending to individuals who are lonely, depressed, and contemplating suicide or self-injury.

The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands
Samaritan volunteers provide non-judgmental, active listening to callers in need on crisis hotlines, older adults in their Senior Outreach program, and survivors in their SafePlace support groups for those who have lost someone to suicide. 

Call2Talk
Call2Talk is a confidential mental health and emotional support call line that assists individuals and families through stressful times in their lives, helping the despondent and those who may be suicidal.

Postvention Guidelines

After a Suicide: Toolkit for Schools
After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. The toolkit was developed by Suicide Prevention Resource Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in consultation with national experts, including school-based administrators and staff, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals. It is designed primarily for administrators and staff but can also be useful for parents and communities.

A Manager’s Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace
A Manager’s Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace provides clear steps for postvention, giving leadership a sense of how to provide an immediate response to the traumatic event; follow a short-term recovery plan; and develop long-term strategies for helping employees cope. The guide was created through the collaboration of numerous experts and organizations, including the American Association of Suicidology, the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the Carson J Spencer Foundation.

Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After a Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines
Developed by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, these guidelines provide a unified, far-reaching blueprint for the development of suicide postvention.

Supporting Survivors of Suicide Loss: A Guide for Funeral Directors (2nd ed.)
Supporting Survivors of Suicide Loss: A Guide for Funeral Directors was developed to provide critical information and practical advice for funeral directors to help them better serve people who are bereaved by a suicide loss. It also suggests useful resources for suicide loss survivors. The second edition is a collaboration of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and Samaritans, Inc. with input from funeral directors, psychologists, and suicide loss survivors.

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
Media and online coverage of suicide should be informed by using best practices. Some suicide deaths may be newsworthy. However, the way media cover suicide can influence behavior negatively by contributing to contagion, or positively by encouraging help-seeking.

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Suicide Prevention Organizations

MA Department of Mental Health
The MA Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages; enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities.

MA Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program
The MA Suicide Prevention Program provides support to community agencies, education and training for professionals and caregivers, and funds programs working with youth, veterans and older adults.

Our Side of Suicide Blog
Bloggers Jessica and Becky met through Catholic Charities’ Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide support group in Chicago after losing their fathers to suicide within five months of each other. Both had the desire to elevate the discussion about suicide in an attempt to give a voice to those seeking support and encouragement.

Walking the Mourner’s Path After a Child’s Suicide Blog
How does it feel in the aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide? How can we bear the grief, guilt and unanswered questions as we rebuild our lives? One mother who lost her son to suicide invites you to walk the mourner’s path with her.

Recommended Readings for Survivors
List of suggested readings and resources on surviving after suicide loss, compiled by John R. Jordan, Ph.D.

Request a Copy of an Autopsy Report
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

See a New Sun Foundation
The See A New Sun Foundation aims to prevent suicide through education and early intervention.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide

Teenage Anxiety and Depression Solutions (TADS)
Teenage Anxiety and Depression Solutions (TADS) focuses on mental health issues, especially with regards to helping parents who have children with mental health needs.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) 
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service.

Lost Someone to Suicide?

You may be experiencing a host of emotions in the wake of this loss: guilt, shock, anger, sorrow, or even relief. Although you may feel misunderstood or isolated by those around you, you are not alone in your grief journey. We’re here to help you cope with these emotions.

Hear the Journeys of Suicide Loss Survivors

While a loss from suicide can be an incredibly isolating experience, many people have walked this path before. At Samaritans, there is a community of loss survivors who understands your pain.