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HealthInfo Canterbury

Support after a suicide attempt (for family & friends)

It's very hard to deal with the fact that someone you're close to has attempted suicide or has killed themselves.

If they have attempted suicide, it can be difficult knowing they felt this was an option for them. We cannot always understand why people have these thoughts even if we are close to them. Getting them the help they need will also help you in dealing with the situation.

Sharing what has happened and how you're feeling with whānau/family and friends allows you to support each other. You may also need to get help through your GP or a mental health professional.

If the person has died, you'll have the hurt of this grief and loss to deal with. Grief is personal and there is no right or wrong way to go through it.

There are resources to help you deal with this very difficult challenge.

WAVES programme and support group

WAVES is an eight-week practical, supportive educational programme for people bereaved by suicide. The programme is for groups of six to eight people, facilitated by professional counsellors and educators. It's available to people aged 18 or older. See the Skylight website for more information.

For programme dates, contact Yellow Brick Road on (03) 366‑9284 or 0800‑876‑682.

Victim Support

Victim Support offers support after a suicide with specially trained bereavement service specialists. Police will contact Victim Support to arrange the service after a suicide has happened. But you can also self-refer. They will also provide support if the suicide happened outside New Zealand. Phone: 0800‑842‑846.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by chief of Psychiatry, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed October 2020.


Page reference: 163033

Review key: HISUH-48714