Every suicide is a tragedy, and has a ripple effect on everyone that had a connection with the person who died. It can affect you even if the person who has died wasn’t someone you knew very well.
Such a tragic event can bring up a range of feelings and questions that you may never have experienced before. It can be hard to explain how you are feeling to others or to ask for help. Below we will explain some of these feelings and what to do if you think you or one of the student community might need help.
Is how I’m feeling normal?
When there has been an event as traumatic as someone you know taking their own life, it can throw up all kinds of feelings. Everyone acts or reacts in their own way. It’s important to know that there’s no right or wrong way of feeling.
How you may feel:
You may experience one or more of these emotions and that‘s ok. Feelings vary from person to person. You may also have lots of questions. That’s also common but often there are no clear answers or reasons. It may be that many of your questions cannot be answered. It is important to express how you feel in a safe way. Talk to someone you can trust; someone who will listen and won’t tell you how you should be feeling.
Why do people take their own lives?
Suicide is complex and often there isn’t a single reason why someone takes their own life. Sometimes people get to a point where they are unable to see any other solutions to their problem. There are always solutions and people who will be there until you feel better. Problems are usually temporary but death is permanent, so it’s a tragedy when someone is unable to reach out for help. Sadly, most people thinking about suicide don’t really want to die but just want the pain they are feeling to stop.
When and how to seek help
It’s important not to struggle with difficult emotions on your own. If your feelings become overwhelming or it’s difficult to cope with small everyday events, find someone to talk to. No matter how awful things seem, there is always someone you can reach out to.
Counsellors, family members, lecturers or support staff can be of great help when you are feeling low. If you start having thoughts about suicide tell someone. It might feel scary and confusing but others can help you through this difficult time. You are not alone. If you’d prefer to talk to someone in confidence who is not part of the university community, get in touch with Samaritans. We are there at any time of the day or night to help you. You can also contact us by email or by visiting one of our branches.
Talking can help
Everyone faces challenges in their lives and sometimes we all need someone to talk to, to help us cope. There is no shame in asking for help when you feel like coping on your own is too difficult. Samaritans know from experience how important it is that you feel able to talk about things that are troubling you. Be kind to your fellow students during this difficult time, as others will be hurting too.
Other things that can help:
- try and have a routine, meal times, getting up
- eat and sleep well
- do some physical exercise, walk or play a sport
- try and spend some time outside for every day
- try to surround yourself with people you enjoy spending time with
Samaritans have a list of resources and referrals you may find useful.