iStock_000000296911XSmallGrief is difficult enough! But the grief experienced when losing someone to suicide can be especially traumatic and complex. The survivor of suicide may also be coping with shock, blame, guilt, embarrassment, religious concerns, and the often-unanswerable question of “why?”

If you are reading this as a survivor, you may be in a world of hurt right now. So what can help? Each person is different in this regard, but you need to take special care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, to get through this time. Some find it helpful to consult with a counselor, clergy, or physician. A “Survivors of Suicide” support group is especially helpful to many, as it allows them to grieve with and learn from others who truly know their emotional pain. (See Survivors of Suicide Support Network Central Ohio below.) Realize that your grief will get better over time, but it may take a while, and there is no set time as to how long grief should last. You can ask “why” as long as you need to, but realize that you may never know the answer. Similarly, “if only…” thoughts are common. Don’t grieve alone. Other people may want to help, but they feel uncomfortable in knowing what to say when a death of this nature occurs. Suicide is an uncomfortable word. Blame and guilt are other common emotions in grieving a suicide, but these may often result in more pain, and may often be unwarranted. You hurt right now because someone you care about is gone, in what seems an unnecessary death. Don’t, however, lose sight of the cherished time and memories that you have… and take special care of yourself.

Robert E. Bartha, Ph.D., Psychologist, Survivor of wife’s suicide and author of the book “Grieving Through Suicide” a book intended to provide understanding, hope and coping suggestions for those dealing with a death from suicide.

Survivors of Suicide Support Network Central Ohio

The mission of the Central Ohio Survivors of Suicide Support Network is to provide information and hope to any individual who has lost someone to suicide. We also promote education about suicide prevention, work to remove the stigma associated with suicide, and honor the memory of those who died by suicide.

The network is made up of survivors of friends and family members who have lost a loved one to suicide. We distribute information about resources that are available locally, regionally, and nationally. We can also provide speakers who will share their personal stories of loss and grief after suicide. There are several “Faces of Suicide” quilts available to display at health fairs, school presentations, and other community events. Please feel free to contact any of us by phone or email.


Rick Baumann 614-395-0727

Dean Turner 614-402-0004

Susan Farnham 614-882-6271

Survivors Of Suicide Support Groups:

North Central Mental Health Services
1301 N. High St
Columbus, OH 43201
614-299-6600 ex. 2026
Held the last Sunday of each month 7pm – 8:30pm

Helpline of Delaware & Morrow County
11 N. Franklin St.
Delaware, OH 43015
Held the 3rd Thursday of each month 7pm – 9pm

Syntero Dublin Counseling Center
299 Cramer Creek Ct
Dublin, OH 43017
Pre-registration is required
Held the 1st Thursday of each month 7pm – 8:30pm

Norwalk, Huron County
Sheri’s Coffee House
27 Whittlesey Ave.
Norwalk, OH 44857
First Monday of each month, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Tiffin, Seneca County
Mercy Tiffin Hospital
McMullen Conference Room 1
45 St. Lawrence Drive
Tiffin, OH 44883
Third Monday of each month, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Concord Counseling Center
700 Brooksedge Blvd
Westerville, OH 43081
Held the 2nd Wednesday of each month 6pm – 8pm

Hospice of Genesis Health Care System (Morrison House)
713 Forest Ave
Zanesville, OH 43701
Held the 1st Tuesday of each month 6:30pm – 8pm

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