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guidance how to talk to your primary school child who's good friend's dad has committed suicide

Community Member
First time posting....
Whilst getting ready this morning, in general conversation, my daughter randomly dropped a bombshell that her teacher would be away today as they are going to a funeral of the father of a child in class... I have since messaged the teacher to find out what the class know and or have been told. I know the father, not well, but somewhat, as their child is a very good friend of mine so have seen him at drop off / pick up, play dates, birthdays etc. I am shocked as the child is similar age to mine, who is now experiencing this tragedy. I tried talking to my daughter this morning about what she knew about the situation and her awareness of death but not sure of her actual understanding, hence why I messaged the teacher for some clarification... Apologies for the confusing, long post... My question is how do you talk to a primary school child who's good friend's dad has committed suicide and how to care for their friend?
2 Replies 2


Hey kld218, 

Welcome to the forums, we are so grateful that you decided to reach out here for support from our wonderful community. We are so sorry to hear of this, we can't imagine how upsetting this must be for you and your community. Please know that you've come to a safe space and our community is here to offer as much support and advice as you need.

If you feel up to it, we think it may really help to talk these feelings through with Griefline on 1300 845 745. GriefLine provides counselling support services free of charge to individuals who are experiencing loss and grief, as well as those supporting others who are experiencing grief and loss. They may be have some really helpful advice on how to start the conversation with your child, and how to help support them and their friend.

You might also be interested in checking out the following resources:

"Talking to children about a suicide loss"

"Loss and Grief for Children and Young People"

Hopefully, a few of our welcoming community members will pop by to welcome you and offer some words of support and advice. Please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread on how you're going, whenever you feel ready.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi. I am sorry to hear about the loss you wrote about in your post. It also sounds you are very caring and supportive person for your child and her friend. The link that Sophie_M added tell you more than I ever could, and better.

It can be difficult to know what or how much to tell a child these days with the internet and everything. There is also the issue of being overprotective etc. And we each have to navigate that path with our own children. The only thing I would want to emphasize is honesty and the do not have the know all the details. And invite questions so it can can be an open and honest discussion. And let her know that it is OK to talk to you about anything.