Conversations Matter when telling a child about a suicide
There has been a death by suicide and I need to inform a child.
What do I say? What do I do?
Telling a child about a suicide
This resource provides some basic tips for telling a child about a suicide. It is designed specifically for parents or primary care-givers but the information may be useful for other adults.
You can watch it as an online presentation or download it as a printed fact sheet or audio podcast by using the links below.
Download the resources
You can download the resource as a printed fact sheet or an audio podcast by using the links below.
NEW: series of shortened podcasts (in both female and male voices) now available to download.
Factsheet: Telling a child about suicide (1352 KB)
Services and supports
- Kids Helpline
Free confidential 24-hour telephone and online counselling service specifically for young
people aged 5 to 25 years - 1800 55 1800.
Websites offering information, stories, online activities and online counselling:
For kids: www.kidshelpline.com.au/kids
For teenagers and young adults: www.kidshelpline.com.au/teens
A 24-hour national telephone crisis counselling service – 13 11 14
Online counselling service, further information and service finder – www.lifeline.org.au
- Suicide Call Back Service
24-hour national telephone counselling service to people 18 years and over who are suicidal or bereaved by suicide - 1300 659 467
Online counselling service, grief and loss program and resources about bereavement - www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
- National StandBy Response Service
24-hour coordinated community response service to families, friends and communities who have been bereaved through suicide – www.unitedsynergies.com.au
- Support After Suicide
Information resources and group support for those bereaved by suicide – www.supportaftersuicide.org.au
Other useful resources
- Care and Support Pack for Family and Friends Bereaved by Suicide (NSW) – Resource www.health.nsw.gov.au/pubs/2007/care_support_pack.html
- Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement - The largest provider of grief and bereavement education in Australia www.grief.org.au
- Healthdirect Australia - mindhealthconnect online resources www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/suicide
For a more comprehensive list of services and resources, refer to the Supporting Information section of the website
To hear Amy Visser, Senior Project Officer at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, give a brief overview of how to talk to a child about suicide, you can stream or download the podcast below, courtesy of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia:
The resources have been developed based on a set of core principles. These principles were developed as the result of a review of research evidence and thematic analysis of current programs and approaches, extensive sector consultation across educational, workplace, family and community settings, as well as identified target group community consultations and consultations with Aboriginal communities.
The core principles were then subject to review by three panels of experts in suicide prevention working across various settings and with various target populations.
For a list of specific references for this resource, click here: