It is imperative to create spaces to listen to survivors and raise awareness about the complexity of suicide bereavement.

By María Silvina González Astobiza

Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death in Spain and is a global challenge, with rates that vary considerably between countries. It is therefore imperative to create spaces to listen to survivors and raise awareness of the complexity of suicide bereavement.

In Spanish-speaking countries, a person who has lost a loved one to suicide is called a survivor, a term that highlights the difficulty and emotional complexity of the experience. Therefore, the word survivor seeks to acknowledge the strength required to face and overcome the circumstances of a suicide bereavement.

In the process, the bereaved may be burdened with stigmas, unanswered questions, and feelings of guilt or confusion. Making grief visible becomes an essential step in fostering an environment of understanding and support.

Society must work to remove the stigma associated with suicide and provide a compassionate environment in which those affected can share their feelings without fear of judgment, thereby facilitating the expression of grief.

For example, attending bereavement groups for survivors means acknowledging and validating the shared experience of those who have lost a loved one to suicide. These groups provide a safe space where empathy and respect are fundamental, allowing each individual to share their grief and find support in mutual understanding.

Crucially, listening plays a crucial role in the recovery process for survivors. Seeking help is an important step in coming to terms with the loss’s impact and finding effective coping tools.

It should be emphasized that suicide prevention and mental health promotion are crucial to building a more empathetic and caring society.

Education about warning signs can play a key role in reducing suicide rates and creating a strong support network for survivors.

María Silvina González Astobiza holds a diploma in supportive and educational thanatology. End of life and bereavement counselor. End-of-life doula. Support group coordinator: Suicide Grief. Facilitator of the Málaga Death Café and co-coordinator of the Cycle of Discussions.