7 Suicide Grief and Prevention Resources Every Funeral Director Should Know

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As a funeral director, you can find yourself facing both sides of suicide: a family left to grieve the loss of a loved one to a suicide death and/or individuals who are having thoughts of suicide. Both of these are not only difficult and potentially overwhelming support scenarios to navigate, but they are so important to the health and safety of your funeral home families. We wanted to bring you a quick post that you can easily bookmark for those moments that you need a refresher or some support on the tips and resources available for you and your families.

First and foremost remember, "postvention" is prevention! I know, I know... Sounds like a bunch of jargon. But it is important. Research has shown time and again that those bereaved by suicide are at increased risk for thinking about, planning, or attempting suicide. Your role in supporting those who have lost someone to suicide is helping to reduce that. Being comfortable addressing suicide prevention resources is a crucial part of supporting those grieving a suicide death.

1. Know the Suicide Crisis Resources.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network (Hotline and Online Chat)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line
Text TALK to 741-741

Veterans' Crisis Line
Send a text to 838255

The Trevor Helpline (Crisis Hotline, Text, or Chat for LGBT+ Youth)

suicide crisis resources

2. Know the Suicide Prevention Resources.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

American Association of Suicidology

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide

Safety Planning Tools


The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide


Suicide Prevention Resource Center

3. Know the Suicide Survivor In-Person Grief Support Groups.

This means staying up to date with what's available in your community, as there are often groups offered through local hospices, hospitals, grief centers, and churches. The following links include either group locators or suicide support groups that exist or can be started in your community:

4. Know the Online Suicide Support Groups/Forums.

Alliance of Hope (A forum with a mental health moderator)

Suicide Grief (A forum with non-professional, volunteer moderation)

5. Know the Resources for Talking to Kids Grieving a Suicide Loss.

6. Language matters! 

When talking to those grieving a suicide, know the appropriate language. Your words can subtly impact how families perceive the death, as well as their assumptions about how you (and others) perceive the death. Make sure to use non-stigmatizing language when talking about suicide, not just with families, but always. Instead of "committed suicide" use "died by suicide". The AP knows what's up when it comes to language; all end-of-life, grief, and mental health professionals should too!

7. Media Coverage of Suicide Can Be Triggering.

When there are public suicides, either in your community or of celebrities, it's important to post reminders on your social media with information about how people can get support. The image with various hotline information above can be posted, the image below is available, and all the hotline and chat resources have images on their own websites that you can share.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of resources, but it's a good place to get started! As always, share your feedback or other suggestions in the comments. Subscribe to get our weekly posts right to your inbox!

We wrote a book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief
for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible,
real-life book!

After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss is for people experiencing any type of loss. This book discusses some of the most common grief experiences and breaks down psychological concepts to help you understand your thoughts and emotions. It also shares useful coping tools, and helps the reader reflect on their unique relationship with grief and loss.

You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

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One Comment on "7 Suicide Grief and Prevention Resources Every Funeral Director Should Know"

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  1. Leslie  March 18, 2021 at 8:03 pm Reply

    My stepdad, who served with honor in the Viet Nam war passed away recently at age 76. He died by suicide,He knew his time was coming so he got everything put in place, We had talked about when he’d know the time was right as he got older and his legs kept giving out. He was told by the doctor he had to stop driving. So I think between his notion issues and driving issues hesaid he’had enough of it/ Part of me wants to hate him and part of me feels I should advocate for his choice. i was also his caregiver all these years,so that doesn’t help either

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