The Aftermath of Suicide


Suicide is more commonplace than many would think or want to believe.

It's one of the top three causes of death for those aged 15 to 44 and the leading cause for those aged 10 to 24. About 1 million people die by suicide annually, and many more try and fail.

Social stigmas lead to lack of dialogue

Suicide has a heavy impact on the survivors, be they those who attempted or those who live on after a loved one dies. The social stigmas and fears associated with suicide are many and often lead to ignorance or a lack of dialogue about it, which can lead to more suicides.

Friends and family left behind after a person commits suicide often have to tackle the grief, sense of guilt, and shame it leaves behind. Most will ask themselves if they "could have done something" or if they "should have been there" for the victim.

Worse, the social stigmas associated with suicide mean that these sufferers are not always able to talk with others about what happened to relieve their sense of guilt, and families often feel a sense of shame because they're now associated with someone who "gave up" and "took the easy way out."

Things are changing, but slowly

Religion, often the bullwark against which people in emotional pain will lean, is traditionally very harsh about suicide and its consequences for those who commit it. That is changing, but slowly.

Social stigmas, however, will take longer to remove. These are slowly being breached as more attention is spent on suicide and more high-profile people become involved (for good or ill).

Social services are available

Social services for families left behind by suicide are more prevalent than they ever have been before.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, there is help. The national suicide prevention hotline is a good place to start: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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