Be the Change, Stop Bullying & Cyberbullying

Dealing With Suicide

Suicide typically will occur when an individual encounters a problem that seems too overwhelming & may lead a person to think the only solutions is to end his or her life.

  • Depression 

    • Depression is the leading cause of suicide. It can be cause by personal loss, heredity, or a chemical imbalance in the body. 


  • Crisis includes

    • Major life changes, anger, humiliation, or frustration can lead a person to attempt suicide, sometimes before having the opportunity to think it over.


  • Old Age 

    • Changes brought on by old age can be frightening and may lead an older person to think suicide is an alternative. 


  • Substance Abuse 

    • Substance abuse can weaken a person's self- control and lead to self-destructive behaviors. 


Complexities of Suicide 

Suicide is a very complex concept. While it is true that suicidal individuals have problems just like you and me, these people, in that moment, feel completely overwhelmed and unable to handle them. For these individuals, suicide is a solution to a problem or many unsolvable problems.


Bullying & Suicide 

Children & youth who are involved in bullying are more likely than those who are not involved in bullying to suffer with depression, have high suicidal thoughts, and make more suicidal attempts. Bullying does not cause suicide. 

  • Children who Bully and who also are bullied by their peers are at the greatest risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 
  • Because there are very few studies on bullying that look at the long term correlation between bullying & suicide, we are unable to conclude that bullying experiences cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors (even though bullying is related to greater likelihoods of suicidal thoughts and behavior).
  • Researchers make note that there are other risk factors (ex. Mental health problems) that appear to play a larger role in bullying and predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors.


Young People & Suicide 

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among people ages 15-24.

Young people are especially susceptible to suicide because they can experience many of the same stresses that adults face, in addition to the pressures of growing up.

Young people usually lack the network of support many adults have or a perspective on life and experience in dealing with coming-of-age problems.


Dealing with Grief Following a Suicide

A loved one’s suicide may trigger certain intense emotions including:

  • Shock

    • Disbelief & emotional numbness, or feelings that your loved one’s suicide is not real


  • Anger

    • You may feel like your loved one abandoned you or left your with overwhelming grief, or you are angry for missing any signs of suicidal intentions


  • Guilt

    • You might think about “What if?” scenarios & blaming yourself for your loved one’s death


  • Despair

    • You might be gripped by sadness, loneliness or helplessness, and/or you may consider suicide yourself


These intense emotions may continue during the weeks & months following a loved one’s suicide including nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating, social withdrawal, & loss of interest in usual activities.

Healthy coping strategies include:

  • Keeping In Touch

    • Reach out to other loved ones, friends, and/or spiritual leaders for comfort, understanding, & overall healing. Surround yourself with those who will listen and offer a shoulder to lean on.


  • Grieve In Your Own Way

    • Do what is right for you, not what someone else may do. (i.e. If it is too painful to visit your loved one’s grave site or share details about the death, wait till you are ready).


  • Be Prepared For Painful Reminders

    • Anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions can bring on painful reminders about your loved one’s death. Don’t punish yourself for being sad or mournful. You may want to think about changing or suspending family traditions.


  • Don't Rush Yourself

    • Losing someone to suicide can cause tremendous pain & healing must occur at its own pace.


  • Expect Setbacks

    • Some days will be better than others, even many years after a loved one’s death – and that's okay. Healing doesn’t happen in a straight line.


  • Consider A Support Group

    • Sharing your story with others who are experiencing that same type of grief, may help you find inner strength & purpose.


If you experience intense/unrelenting anguish or physical problems, ask your doctor or mental health professional for help.

This is especially important if you feel that you are depressed or are having thoughts of suicide. Remember that unresolved grief can become complicated, causing you to have trouble resuming your own life.

After a loved one’s suicide, you may feel like you can't go on or that you will never enjoy life again. The truth is that you may always wonder why it happened, but the raw intensity of your grief will fade eventually.



 Information above was disseminated by published material from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Mayo Clinic, “Question, Persuade, Refer” by Paul Quinnett, Screening for Mental Health Inc., Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services, &, Screening for Mental Health, Inc.World Health Organization (2014).

The information on this website is not meant as a substitute for qualified professional advice. 

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