Losing someone to suicide can be painful and devastating. The shock and stigma of such a sudden loss can be isolating and lonely. So many questions are left unanswered and those left behind may feel depressed in the wake of that loss. They may not understand why their loved one made a final choice and may even feel as if they hadn\u2019t done all they could to prevent that loss.\nThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that nearly 40,000 Americans commit suicide each year. According to the American Association of Suicidology, there are at least six survivors \u2014 family members, friends, and co-workers \u2014 for every suicide.\nHow do you move forward when a part of you has died? It\u2019s a \u201ccomplicated process,\u201d says Sue Wesner, RN, MSN, CNS, a bereavement specialist who serves as facilitator of the STAR-Center Survivors of Suicide groups for adults, adolescents, and children at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.\n\u201cIt is one of the hardest deaths for survivors because they may have feelings of guilt, constantly reviewing the \u2018could haves, would haves, should haves\u2019 as they search for understanding. Guilt is often part of grief, but with suicide, it\u2019s even more intense,\u201d she says.\nSurvivors need to know they are not alone and that their grief processes are normal. Attending a support group for survivors of suicide offers the opportunity to share their story or feelings with fellow survivors without pressure or fear of judgment and shame.\nHelping Survivors\n\nListen. Active listening can be the most helpful thing you can do for a suicide survivor.\nExpress sympathy. It\u2019s OK if you don\u2019t know what to say. A heartfelt, \u201cI\u2019m sorry for your loss,\u201d is appropriate. Use the loved one\u2019s name, instead of \u201che\u201d or \u201cshe.\u201d\nRemember, the grief journey is personal and unique. Avoid saying, \u201cI know how you feel.\u201d Don\u2019t share your own loss. Allow people time to grieve.\nFind out about suicide survivor support groups. Encourage the survivor to attend meetings.\n\nIf you feel that someone you love may be battling depression or considering suicide, UPMC\u2019s Behavioral and Mental Health Services and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic may be able to help. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-877-624-4100. For more urgent, crisis services for those in Allegheny County, please call the re:solve Crisis Network at 1-888-7-YOU-CAN.