GLEN OAKS, NY – The passing of Robin Williams by suicide is a reminder that families and friends are left behind when someone commits suicide. A New York psychiatrist says families should take into account the age and maturity of a child when deciding how to help them cope with this.
Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda, 25, posted a tribute to her dad on Twitter. Robert Dicker, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks says it’s critical that people do not keep their feelings secret after a suicide.
“It’s better to be open and supportive than to hold on to a secret,” Dr. Dicker says. “Once one shares the news about a suicide in one’s family, one needs to remember that it’s not only the immediate response… but to continue to come back to address it, to talk about it, to listen for messages that they’ve giving out.”
Dr. Dicker adds that those closest to the person who committed suicide are more at risk to be depressed and have suicidal ideas and attempts.
Some tips for families and friends trying to help others through a suicide are:
• Reach out
• Let them know you’re supporting them
• Listen to what they say
• Reach out after the funeral arrangements