Worldwide over 1 million people commit suicide every year. It’s safe to say that suicide is traumatic for every person involved none more so than the deceased direct family.
Suicide can have a devastating impact on a family, it’s common that it results in unrest, fighting, and the decline of some family members into depression. We are often asked what happens following a suicide, how is everything handled, and is it done effectively and painlessly.
Dealing with suicide is complicated
The suicide of a family member or friend is not something you can prepare for, and how every person reacts are handles a suicide is completely unpredictable. What you should know is that only professionals can help families deal with sudden and traumatic events. Aside from counseling and therapy services, Most families are completely unaware of the fact that there are professional suicide cleanup companies who will help families clean up a suicide scene and save them from the trauma of having to do it themselves.
In the unfortunate event that you have to deal with the impact of suicide, there are some important things that you should know.
Police are under no obligation to handle a suicide cleanup
Despite what we see in movies and interpret from reading books. Upon encountering a suicide scene, police are neither equipped to nor will offer to handle cleanup. This comes as a shock to many families. When faced with the grief and trauma of losing a family member in such an abrupt and sometimes violent manner having to see deal with a suicide scene clean up is the furthest thing from their mind. Police aid in the investigation of suicide to ensure there was no foul play and help the family neutralize the situation.
Is it ok to clean up a suicide scene?
If you choose to work with a professional suicide scene cleanup crew, they will follow strict isolation protocols to prevent further cross-contamination of the residence. They will also be using extensive personal protective equipment (PPE) and leveraging proper cleaning agents that are EPA registered to effectively remediate and disinfect the scene. As trained individuals, they know exactly how to handle any situation. Having no direct relationship with the victim, they can handle these situations in a professional and emotionally balanced manner. We train them to handle each situation delicately while treating the family and the victim with the utmost respect.
What happens to personal belongings?
Suicide victims may either be living alone or even in a family home, and a question remains about what will happen to their belongings. In most cases belongings are left in the hands of the family but depending on the situation a specific area of the residence or the entire residence would be considered a biohazard site and will be cleansed accordingly, therefore, leaving it to professional suicide scene cleanup crews is advisable.
How suicide can affect a family
Losing a loved one, family member, or friend to suicide can directly affect their colleagues, neighbors, friends, spouse, significant other, and their family. One thing is for certain: anyone who knows the victim will feel the impact of their suicide in some shape or form.
These unfortunate events are traumatic, they often leave long-term effects on the psyche of anyone who had a relationship with the person who passed. Unfortunately, there is a common trend of people close to suicide victims contemplating suicide themselves in the immediate aftermath, Especially following the loss of the spouse or a child.
The psychological impact of suicide should never be underestimated and if you see a sudden behavioral change, please address this and ask the person if they like to discuss how they’re feeling. Red flags need to be recognized as soon as possible.
If you are the person who is feeling suicidal, we recommend you discuss this with someone who you can trust, either a family member or a friend. Let them know exactly what you’re thinking and feeling. Remember that a problem shared is often a problem halved and you’ll be surprised to learn that the surrounding people are feeling or have felt the same way.
If you feel you cannot discuss this with someone close to you, talk to a professional starting with your physician, They are trained to discuss these topics and recommend a course of treatment if needed. Psychological pain should never be ignored getting out from a medically trained professional who can offer you unique insight and constructive advice is often better than the advice you may receive from family or friends as they have a tendency to underestimate what you’re feeling.
Talk to a professional therapist for help with the following:
- Difficulty addressing psychological issues with your family
- Help to deal with grieving
- PTSD treatment
- Discussing and understanding the impact of a loved one suicide
Professionals recommend you contact them if you are feeling the following:
- Mood swings are leading to overeating and weight change
- Sudden suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety PTSD flashbacks or depression
- Struggling to sleep
- An increase in smoking and drug consumption or alcohol or other vices
If you recognize any of these feelings, experts recommend you address them as soon as possible, because the psychological impact of suicide becomes much more difficult to mitigate, if you leave the symptoms progress. If you are someone, your friend, or your loved one is clearly exhibiting symptoms listed above, it’s important never to downplay them. Try to get them to recognize how they feel as soon as you can.
Helping Suicidal Friends
Thankfully, in the vast majority of cases suicide is preventable. It’s important that you understand the delicate nature of this problem and take an approach that does more good than harm. Experts suggest you should be mindful of a few things that can help you recognize friends who may be struggling with suicidal tendencies.
Remain close to them
If you believe someone close to you has suicidal tendencies, this can be alarming, but the best thing you can do is stay as close to them as possible. Despite what you might think intervention is not always the best approach, this doesn’t mean you should just stand by and do nothing. One of the most unfortunate effects of a failed intervention is that if they are unplanned or untimed. Sometimes the person involved ultimately commits suicide anyway, and many people end up blaming themselves.
Carrying this burden is often difficult to shake and negatively affects people for the rest of their lives. As we mentioned earlier and often results in suicidal tendencies among people who were involved and failed interventions. This is hard to navigate and should never be done without professional help.
Superficial reassurances are not helpful
Another thing to avoid offering hollow or vague reassurances. Try not to say things like “don’t worry”, “cheer up”, “things will get better”, or “just shake it off” statements like this don’t help. If you’re truly interested in helping a loved one or a friend, a strategic approach is needed, and think carefully about everything you say and do. When someone is in a fragile mental state, words can have a significant impact. Pay attention to your phone. Our friend’s time spent listening is often more important than speaking.
Don’t ask them why?
How likely are you to want to discuss things, if you are considering taking your own life or you had a failed suicide attempt Are you going to want to explain your thoughts are actions? If you suspect someone is planning a suicide attempt or recently survived one, never ask their reasons or intentions. Keep your questions simple and try to start a conversation without pressuring them to give answers.
Be ready for a long-term commitment
Suicide independencies do not happen overnight, like most aspects of your life, preventing suicide takes a lot of time and dedication. One or two conversations are not going to permanently resolve the deep-rooted issues that are playing. Recovery from suicidal tendencies is a long process that involves tackling challenges and fears. In many cases, it’s a lifelong pursuit to be ready to stay committed and consistent in the messages that you give.
There is nothing more traumatizing than the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one due to suicide. We know after a suicide, family members are at a loss and are overwhelmed with what to do. Do not face this task alone. The staff at 360 Hazardous can help you through the process and ease the burden of suicide cleanup.
360 Hazardous adheres to OSHA regulations concerning bloodborne pathogens and practices universal precautions to protect our employees and customers. When the worst happens, you need a competent and compassionate cleanup company. You can depend on us to be there with professional, well-trained, and caring teams. We are available 24/7/365 to assist you.