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, Suicide/Loss Prevention.pdf – click here to download

Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. (World Health Organization, 2011)

Books for Clinicians:

Andriessen, Karl, Krysinska, Karolina, & Grad, Onja (2017). Postvention in Action: The International Handbook of Suicide Bereavement Support.
Dyregrov, Kari, Plyhn, Einar, & Dieserud, Gudrun (2011). After the Suicide: Helping the bereaved find a path from grief to recovery.
Jordan, John R. & McIntosh, John L. (2015). Grief after Suicide: Understanding the consequences and caring for the survivor.
O’Connor, Rory (2021). When it is the darkest: Why people die by suicide and what we can do to prevent it.
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:

Archibald, LaRita (2012). Finding Peace Without All the Pieces: After a loved one’s suicide.
Ashton, J. (2019). Life after Suicide: Finding Comfort & Community after Unthinkable Loss.
Auerbach, Susan (2017). I’ll Write Your Name on Every Beach: A Mother’s Quest for Comfort, Courage, and Clarity after Suicide Loss.
Baugher, Bob & Jordan, John (2016). After Suicide Loss: Coping with your grief (includes practical advice for the newly bereaved)
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)
Biles, Jessica & Kelly-Wavering, Jillian (2022). My Grief is Like the Ocean: A Story for Children Who Lost a Parent to Suicide (story told from the perspective of a boy who lost his father; can be adapted for all ages.)
Cammatata, Doreen (2009). Someone I Love Died By Suicide.
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).
Rowland, Joanna (2020). The Memory Book: A grief journal for children and families.
Smid, Emmi (2015). Luna’s Red Hat: An illustrated storybook to help children cope with loss and suicide.
Schweibert, Patricia (2005). Tear Soup: A recipe for healing after loss (can be adapted to all ages).
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.
Young, Karen (2016). Hey Warrior; (2018) Hey Awesome; (2022) Dear You, Love from Your Brain (strength-focused approach for anxiety)

For more books: Click here.

Online Resources:

The Coalition of Clinician Survivors (CCS): Provides support & resources to clinicians & other professional caregivers with the experience of suicide loss of patients/clients, family members, loved ones, students &/or colleagues.

Responding to Grief, Trauma, and Distress After Suicide: U.S. National Guidelines. Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force:

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

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools ~

Supporting Children Who Are Grieving a Death by Suicide. National Alliance for Children’s Grief (2022).

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

Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors articles about “Supporting Children and Teens After A Suicide Death”

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition: Certification in Suicide Bereavement

Films, Podcasts, Interviews

The Journey (AFSP) (1/2 hour film of the bereaved sharing their stories and how they coped).–a-story-of-healing-and-hope-and-the-journey-revisited

Red Chocolate Elephants, Diana Sands, Australia
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 (Re: suicide exposure #Not6)

Is Suicide a Choice, article by Kim Ruocco, MSW


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (individual and group support)

American Association for Suicidology,

American Association of Suicidology , “Resources for Suicide Loss Survivors”,

Alliance for Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors:

Alliance for Hope for the newly bereaved:

Friends For Survival:

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

National Alliance for Children’s Grief:

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:

Uniting for Suicide Postvention

Uniting for Suicide Postvention Information and podcasts: