Suicide Grief Support

Suicide Grief Support Groups

The BC Bereavement Helpline offers 8-week suicide grief support groups to help suicide survivors come together to heal in their unique loss. Our grief support groups are led by experienced facilitators. We try very hard to ensure that at least one facilitator is a suicide survivor as they can connect and share in this similar, tragic loss. Our groups are not counselling model, but rather a format in which everyone can come together to connect and be supported with their similar grief experiences. Facilitators will provide space for education and discussion on suicide grief.

Common symptoms of grief due to the death by suicide are the questions of “why?” Why did my loved one decide to do this? Other complications include guilt, “what could I have done differently that would have prevented this death?” By bringing everyone together in a support group, healing and companionship can begin. Many survivors of suicide suffer not only the grief and loss of their loved one but could also be victim to the stigma our society attaches to a death by suicide. Suicide survivors should not suffer alone, nor in silence. Being with others who have experienced a similar loss has proven to break isolation and create long-term networks of support.

Our 8-week suicide grief support groups provide:

  • A safe, non-judgmental, compassionate environment with time for restorative sharing of stories and insights
  • Essential grief and mourning survival tools to help survivors in their daily lives
  • Practical support and information as well as valuable community connections
  • A respectful space for honouring the life of the person who has died
  • In weeks 4 and 5 we focus on the life of the person who has died, as our goal is to ultimately connect the survivor with the life of their loved one, as opposed to the death.

Our grief support groups are mainly being offered online; in person groups may be possible in the Vancouver area and Valley View Funeral Home in Surrey also offers in person groups.

Please read the below before registering for our 8-Week Suicide Grief Support Group Waitlist

  • Due to demand, the approximate time on our waitlist is 8-12 months from the time you register. This is just an estimate. If you need a referral for a more immediate support, please contact our Helpline.
  • Maximum capacity for online groups is nine members per group.
  • We ask that you are available for all 8 sessions of the group, as each group builds upon the previous knowledge and connections.
  • For online groups, you should have either a computer, laptop or tablet. Sorry, no phones as it is not possible to see all group members at once.
  • Groups are for adults only.
  • While this group is specific to suicide loss, it is not a relationally homogenous group, meaning that the group may encompass a range of relationships between the bereaved and deceased. Participants may have different connections to the deceased, such as being a friend, parent, grandparent, aunt, sibling, etc. Each group will have its own unique dynamic as participants are contacted based on who is next on the waitlist, not based on when their loss was or what their relationship to the deceased was.
  • Individuals must register themselves. One registration per person.
  • This group is available to residents of British Columbia.
  • We have a two step-intake process. You first need to complete the waitlist intake form and then when it’s time to offer you a spot in a group, an Intake conversation with one of our facilitators is required prior to joining a group.

If this sounds like a fit for you, you can join our Suicide Grief Support Group waitlist by clicking below.

Join the Waitlist

We have an extreme demand for this program and need your help! If you are an individual and would like to make a donation, please do so here. If you are part of an organization interested in supporting this program, please email [email protected]

SUICIDE LOSS RESOURCES

The Crisis Centre of BC offers various events and gatherings for Suicide Loss Survivors. For more info, visit https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/suicide-loss/

Full recording here.

Details
Facilitator and author, Jessica Wolf Ortiz speaks to the specific challenges of a suicide loss and the experiences of those who are left behind. She helps us understand why this is considered a traumatic loss, some of the common feelings and thoughts of suicide survivors (those left behind) and how this one event does not define a life.

Video: What is Suicide Bereavement?

Surviving the Loss

Support Group Testimonials

“It was nice to talk with others going through similar experiences who could relate to what I’m going through.”

“Thank you for providing this greatly needed service.”

“I felt what I learned and the connections I made were so beneficial and would be helpful to others.”

“I have realized how helpful and supportive it is to communicate with others who are experiencing a similar situation.”

“It was nice to talk with others going through similar experiences who could relate to what I’m going through.”

“It was beyond helpful [the support group], from start to finish. I could have never imagined finding such an amazing safe and supportive group.”

“Both facilitators had experienced loss from suicide before, which was amazingly helpful. They let us talk freely and openly, without judgement, and they know what we’re going through. (*BCBH support groups strive to have at least one facilitator who has experienced similar losses. We are not always able to find two.)”

“It’s been something I look forward to and crave and has been an amazing gift to share in a space where people understand! Thank you.”