Chapter 5: When death is from suicide

Will this happen to me?

People have always told Tracey that she's "just like her mother." Now she's scared she might die from suicide too

It’s important to let children know that – unlike a cold or the flu – the decision to die from suicide is not something you "catch" from other people. Neither is mental illness.  

When a parent or sibling dies from suicide, older children may wonder about the future and whether they too will act on a desire to die someday. This is an opportunity to talk with them about:

  • Ways to take care of themselves.
  • The importance of asking for help when they have difficult thoughts or feelings.

Reassure them that:

  • Help is available.
  • They won’t necessarily have the difficult thoughts and feelings that led this person to suicide.



Let your children know if you seek counselling to help you deal with this death. In this way, you can be a role model, showing them that:

  • It’s okay to ask for help, including professional support.
  • Counselling can be helpful when life is difficult.