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Suicide support

Support for children bereaved by suicide

    • In the UK, on average, someone takes their own life every 80 minutes.
    • There are around 6,000 suicides in England and Wales a year.
    • It is estimated that in the UK 50,000 family members are profoundly affected by suicide each year.

Children bereaved by suicide can feel:

    • Unloved, deserted or let down by the person who has died;
    • Frightened and alone - families may find it difficult to talk to each other;
    • Responsible for the death;
    • Excluded - adults are more likely to protect children from the facts about the suicide;
    • Traumatised - death by suicide is unexpected and sudden;
    • Ashamed - there is often stigma attached to suicide;
    • Confused - why did it happen?

The child will need to:

    • Be told that the person has died and told as soon as possible;
    • Be given information about the death by the family in language that the child can understand;
    • Be allowed time to take in what has happened and have their questions answered;
    • Understand that an adult may not have all of the answers to their questions;
    • Be told the truth before they hear it from other sources;
    • Be reassured that they were not responsible for the person taking their own life;
    • Be supported to find ways to express their feelings.

It will also help for children:

    • To have their routines kept as normal as possible;
    • To know that someone in their school is aware of what has happened and that they can talk to that person;
    • To be included in the funeral arrangements;
    • To know that they can talk about the person who has died and be given opportunities to remember them.

If the family find it too difficult to discuss the suicide with the child, they should ask for professional help.

Slide Away offers tailored support to those bereaved by suicide. Referrals are submitted in the normal way and are triaged by our clinical team. Please refer to our ‘how to refer guide’ to find out how to refer a child.

Books you may find helpful

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Other sources of support


Amparo provides practical and emotional support for anyone affected by suicide. Support can be provided one-to-one, to family groups, groups of colleagues or peers – whatever is preferred by you and is most appropriate to your situation. The service can be delivered in your home or wherever you are most comfortable.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

Survivors of bereavement by suicide aims to meet the needs and overcome the isolation experienced by people over 18 who have been bereaved by suicide.