Faith Based Support

Many religious organizations have faith based bereavement groups to help deal with the death of a loved one.  While the groups do not focus on suicide specifically, they do help to find answers to the spiritual questions many survivors face. 


Where can I Find Faith Based Suicide Grief Support?

Check with your Church, Synagogue or Spiritual Leader for local programs. Most religious organizations host generalized bereavement support groups.  You generally do not have to be a member of that faith or belong to the specific church to attend.  They are there to help provide for the spiritual health of the community.

Understanding Faith Responses to Suicide

  • Coping with a Suicide Catholic Teaching and Pastoral Response
    • Resource: 29 page PDF
    • Summary: Although not a comprehensive source on suicide, this booklet attempts to help survivors, and those who are concerned about them, with some of the questions and doubts that commonly arise in the attempt to come to terms with bereavement by suicide.
  • Suicide By Rabbi Kassel Abelson
    • Resource: 11 page PDF
    • Summary:  An enlightened Rabbinical discussion of Suicide and the Jewish faith.  " Suicide, “taking one’s own life”, is forbidden by Jewish law, for only God who has given life may take it. Though the early Halakhah denied the suicide the usual burial and mourning rites, the trend of Halakhic development was to find a reason to treat the ritual for a suicide like the ritual for any other death. For the sake of the survivors the mourning ritual involving the family may be performed. The “suicide” of a katan (child) is always considered evidence of less mental capacity, and full rites are permitted. A history of mental illness is prima facie evidence, that the taking of one’s life was due to diminished mental capacity. In fact any reason is deemed sufficient to decide that a suicide is without full and complete mental capacity, or the result of temporary insanity. A suicide is to be treated like any other death, with the right of burial in the cemetery, and the same ritual of mourning.
  • The Healing Power of Saying Kaddish for a Suicide
    • Resource: 11 page PDF
    • Summary: This article will provide an overview of Jewish law on mourning a suicide while exploring in more depth the issues involved with saying Kaddish for someone who has taken his or her own life.