Support after a suicide: Where to go & why good support is so important?

21 August 2023

World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday 10th September is an annual event, raising awareness globally of the importance of suicide prevention and campaigning to make prevention a priority.

According to the Samaritans’ statistics, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, with men aged 50-54 found to have the highest suicide rate of all groups (22.5 per 100,000 deaths).

Those bereaved by suicide are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide themselves, so good support after a friend, relative or someone close has died is essential in preventing future deaths by suicide.

If you’ve been bereaved by suicide, where can you go for help and support during what is undoubtedly an incredibly difficult time?

Help Is At Hand

We really recommend the Help Is At Hand booklet as a starting point, created by Public Health England and available from the Support After Suicide Partnership.

This easy-to-read guide talks you through how you may be feeling, what may happen next, and contains specific advice for those with different connections to the deceased person, as well as how you may be able to help someone else who has been bereaved by suicide.

Practical help

The National Bereavement Service, Adroit’s free-to-access, not-for-profit sister company, provides practical and emotional support after a death, with a lot of experience in supporting people bereaved by suicide and sudden death.

Our specialist advisers guide you through what happens next, what to expect and the practical steps to take after someone has died, as well as signposting you to other organisations for more specific help if needed.

Whether you need help in paying for a funeral, want to understand the coroner’s and probate processes, or you don’t know what will happen to the estate of the person who died, the NBS delivers fast and professional support when you need it.

Contact the National Bereavement Service

Download the NBS’ “What to do after a sudden bereavement” guide

Emotional help

Suicide often brings about complex emotions for those who are bereaved, requiring specific help and support that may be different from more general bereavement.

If you’ve been bereaved by suicide, you may feel:

  • Shocked, about the suddenness of the death of someone you care about
  • Confused about why they took their own life, and wanting to understand why the death happened
  • Angry – perhaps with the person who died, or with yourself for not having spotted signs or prevented their death in some way
  • Guilty, about whether or not you could have prevented their death
  • Concern and worry for those left behind

…and possibly a whole range of other emotions too. You, or others who were close to the person who died, may feel very low and anxious, lose your appetite, and have trouble sleeping.

Getting help in understanding and dealing with emotions is so important. There are lots of organisations out there which are dedicated to bereavement support, guidance and self-help. Have a look at the Help Is At Hand booklet for more, but you may try:

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)

Amparo – Help for people affected by suicide

Adroit, the National Bereavement Service & support after suicide

Suicide is an important topic to Adroit Legal Services and the National Bereavement Service, and we lend our full support to World Suicide Prevention Day each year.

Director Lisa Lund is on the Support After Suicide Partnership steering committee, and comments:

“A death by suicide is a sudden and traumatic event for those close to the person who has died, often requiring specialist support, help and guidance through not just legal processes and the practicalities of death administration, but through emotional help that reduces the risk of any further suicides.

Those bereaved by suicide are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide themselves. Knowing where to go for support of the highest standard is critical in the drive towards suicide prevention. The National Bereavement Service is pleased to play a role in suicide prevention in the UK through our advisory work, and we’re proud to continue our partnerships with wider organisations working towards the same, important goal.”  

This article has been prepared by Adroit Legal Services and is not intended to constitute legal advice.


Experienced bereavement by suicide? Practical bereavement support from the National Bereavement Service

The National Bereavement Service supports anyone who has experienced a bereavement, including sudden or traumatic bereavement such as a suicide, with practical and emotional information and advice from professional bereavement advisors with real, lived experience.

We help you to comply with legal requirements following a death, provide advice on probate and support with practical arrangements such as organising and paying for a funeral, and provide a listening ear that helps you through a very difficult time.

For personal, confidential, and practical help following a bereavement, or for advice when planning your future, call the NBS on 0800 0246 121 or visit   

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