Medical Q&As

Suicide - help for bereaved?

My niece’s boyfriend has recently committed suicide. She feels somewhat responsible. Where can she go for help?

I suspect that you have a good relationship with your niece since you are the one that has posed the question. You may already be providing her with very valuable support and it is important that you don’t discount the value of such support. She may be in need of professional help especially in view of her feelings of responsibility for the suicide but the attentive ear and support of a friend or relative can be enormously important in facilitating recovery. There are various avenues of support available to your niece. She might consider discussing the matter with her GP or possibly a psychologist or counsellor. People’s needs vary and some benefit from particular interactions that others might find useless. So there is no exclusive path that is of universal benefit to every person that has been bereaved by suicide. There are several bereavement groups throughout the country that have been established by relatives of people who have committed suicide and such groups can be very helpful to some people. You can get a list of such groups through the following website, which also has a great deal of information on the topic of suicide: http://www.survivingsuicide.net/. You might also find the Bereavement Counselling Service to be of help. You can access information about that group on this website by following this link: http://www.irishhealth.com/psg/berev.html