Suicide Loss

Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind.

World Health Organization, 2014

Resources re: Suicide Loss and Postvention

Books for Clinicians:

Grad, O.T. (2017). Postvention in Action: The International Handbook of Suicide Bereavement Support.

Jordan, John R. & McIntosh, John L. (2015). Grief after Suicide: Understanding the consequences and caring for the survivor.

Rynearson, Edward (2001). Retelling Violent Death.

Singer, Jonathan, Poland, Scott, & Erbacher, Terri (2014), Suicide in the Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention.

Books for Adults:

Ashton, J. (2019). Life after Suicide: Finding Comfort & Community after Unthinkable Loss.

Baugher, Bob & Jordan, John (2016). After Suicide Loss: Coping with your grief. Bolton, Iris (1984). My Son…My Son…A guide to healing after a suicide in the family. Bolton, Iris (2017). Voices of Hope and Healing: Conversations on Grief after Suicide. Fine, Carla (1997). No Time To Say Goodbye: Surviving the suicide of a loved one.

Fine, Carla & Michael Myers, MD (2006). Touched by Suicide: Hope and healing after loss.

Joiner, Thomas (2011). Myths about Suicide.

Joiner, Thomas (2007). Why People Die by Suicide.

Heilmann, Lena M.Q. (2019). Still with us: Voices of sibling suicide loss survivors Knapp, Richard & Pincus, J. David (2019). Sons of Suicide: A memoir of friendship Linn-Gust, Michelle & Cerel, Julie (2011). Seeking hope: Stories of the bereaved

Linn-Gust, Michelle (2010). Rocky Roads: The Journey of Families through Suicide Grief

Rappaport, Nancy (2011) In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide

Rose, Sheralyn (2015). Suicide Tsunami: Living in the Aftermath

For Adults Supporting Children:

Stubbs, D. & Stikes, J. (2008) (2nd ED). Beyond the rough rock: Supporting the child who has been bereaved by suicide. London, UK: Winston’s Wish.

Requarth, Margo (2006). After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal.

Montgomery, Sarah & Coale, Susan (2015). Supporting Children after a Suicide Loss: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers.

Rubel, Margo (2020), But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide.

Children’s Books

Agell, Charlotte (2019). Maybe Tomorrow (picture book about coping with loss) Cammatata, Doreen (2009). Someone I Love Died By Suicide.

Cave, Kathrym (2020). You’ve Got Dragons

Chalifour, Francis (2005). After (teens+). Fifteen year-old boy’s memoir about the loss of his father to suicide. Dougy Center (2014). After a Suicide Death: A activity book for grieving kids.

Karst, Patrice (2018). The Invisible String (wonderful for continuing bonds—all ages)

Karst, Patrice (2019) The Invisible String Workbook: Creative activities to comfort, calm and connect.

Loehr, Carole Ann (2006). My Uncle Keith Died (provides an example of explaining suicide loss to children; includes a discussion guide for parents re: how to talk with children).

Miller, Pat Zietlow (2019). When You Are Brave

Rowland, Joanna (2020). The Memory Book: A grief journal for children and families.

Rubenstein, Lauren (2013). Visiting Feelings (mindfulness approach to exploring feelings)

Smid, Emmi (2015). Luna’s Red Hat: An illustrated storybook to help children cope with loss and suicide.

Paradis, Susan (2019). Edna (picture book about an elephant with worries- all ages).

Servaty-Seib,Heather and Fagenbaum, David (2015). We Get It: Voices of College Students and Young Adults (18+). Includes stories of suicide loss.

Witek, Jo (2014). In My Heart: A book of feelings.

Young, Karen (2016). Hey Warrior; (2018) Hey Awesome (books explaining anxiety and a strengths-based approach)

For more book recommendations:

Online Resources

World Health Organization Suicide Data:

U.S.A Suicide: Official Final Data (2017):

Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines. Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force (2015) national-guidelines

American Association of Suicidology Clinician Survivor’s Task Force. (provides consultation, support, and education to psychotherapists and other mental health professionals after the suicide death of a patient/client and/or family members).

Children, Teens, and Suicide Loss ~ American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

After a Suicide: AToolkit for Schools The Words To Say It: When a Parent Dies by Suicide, Nancy Rappoport, MD (author of In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of her Mother’s Suicide)

Supporting Children and Teens after a Suicide Death, The Dougy Center Teens_After_a_Suicide_Death_2018.pdf

Films, Podcasts, Interviews

The Journey (AFSP)

Red Chocolate Elephants, Diana Sands, Australia

Watch Trailer: Understanding Suicide Loss, Supporting Children, The Dougy Center DVD Watch trailer:

  Left Behind, Kerry Payne Photography, (winner of 2014 International Photography Award) “Left Behind” probes the complicated grief facing those left behind when somebody they love dies by suicide. Evelyn (2019) Documentary film released on Netflix on World Suicide Prevention Day (family walking across Scotland to process (after 13 years) the loss of brother to suicide.

Life after Suicide, Podcast with Jennifer Ashton (series of 48 minute interviews re: suicide loss

Grieving a Suicide Death. What’s Your Grief?

Interview with Thomas Joiner, Ph. D (father died of suicide; author of Why People Die By Suicide (2006) and Myths about Suicide (2011). Interview with Julie Cerel, Ph.D (past president of American Association of Suicidology)

Is Suicide a Choice, Kim Ruocco, MSW

“Shame Festers in Dark Places”: Keeping Suicide Secret, Stacy Freedenthal Ph.D, LCSW

Postvention as Prevention, Ken Norton, LICSW


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (individual and group support) American Association for Suicidology

For Clinicians and Mental Health Professionals Alliance for Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors

LOSS Team: Postvention Workshops and Training LOSS (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide).

National Child Traumatic Stress Network National Alliance for Grieving Children

National Alliance on Mental Illness; The Center for Grieving Children

The Dougy Center

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Suicide Loss SAVE: Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education:

Speaking of Suicide Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Uniting for Suicide Postvention

Information and podcasts: Violent Loss Bereavement Society