It’s natural to want to pay tribute to those who have died.

However, a memorial following a suspected suicide is a difficult issue that needs to be carefully managed, taking account of the wide range of feelings that are likely to be displayed.

Things to consider when setting up a memorial

  • It’s important not to sensationalise or glamorise suicide as this may act as a trigger for anyone who is deeply affected.
  • School managers should set a time limit for memorials [about two weeks]. They may offer to forward cards and other tribute material to the family afterwards.
  • Permanent memorials following a suicide are generally to be discouraged.


Online memorials

Schools cannot control online memorials and other social networking activity following a suicide. However, students should be warned about the risks of online memorials:

  • Comments may become public/ published without their permission.
  • Online memorials can attract negative and hurtful comments
  • Anything that romanticises suicide can be harmful to those who are vulnerable.

Schools could consider establishing an online memorial on their own website, which they can then moderate and remove after an agreed time.

If you would like to discuss any concerns you have about memorials following a suspected suicide in your school community, call the Step by Step team today  0808 168 2528* or email

Next: Find out more about how to manage funerals

*Calls are free from landlines and some mobile providers