How a Suicide Scene Affects People: Practical Guidance and Steps to Take During and After Cleanup 

It is a sad fact of modern life that suicide is a leading cause of death in America. Stigmas surrounding mental health make it a difficult subject for many to broach, and it often comes as an incomprehensible shock to the family and friends of the sufferer. Not only are they left to grieve and come to terms with their feelings and the shock, but they are also forced to deal with the practicalities of the situation at the very moment when nothing in the world could sound worse. 

Under these circumstances, everybody needs help handling the aftermath of a suicide, and this is where the team here at Aftercare steps up and shines. With years of collective experience and extensive training in compassion and discretion, they will handle the scene respectfully and professionally. Their goal will be to take the burden of action off the hands of the owners and quickly return the area to its former state quietly and efficiently. 

Discovering the body

Some unfortunate soul always has to be the one to discover the victim’s body and experience something none of them ever wish to be subjected to. Above all, that person must remain calm and act objectively and sensibly. Most recently-deceased bodies are not dangerous, but it is important to protect yourself in any way necessary as certain toxins can be absorbed through your skin and even prove fatal. 

It may not be immediately apparent whether or not the person is deceased, and if unsure, it is essential to check for signs of life. If you touch the incapacitated person while looking for signs of life but find none, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly. In all other circumstances where it is clear the person cannot be alive, there is no reason for anyone to touch the corpse. The only thing to do is call the authorities and any immediate family and vacate the area. 

Some deaths can go unnoticed for extended periods, days, weeks, or even more, and it will be glaringly obvious the person is deceased upon discovery. Under these circumstances, there is no need to investigate the scene further, and the best thing to do is exit the property and find a safe place to wait for the authorities to arrive.

Suicide cleanup 

The cost of having a suicide scene thoroughly cleaned and returned to its original state is almost impossible to predict without knowing the exact circumstances and details of the death. Without being too graphic, there are certain methods of ending one’s life that make an enormous mess, and those scenarios require a great deal more time and attention. The best course of action is to call and discuss the situation with experts like those here at Aftercare, allowing them to give you any advice and guidance and ask you some pertinent questions to garner the information they need to proceed. 

Making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible should be the aim of any reputable cleanup company, and doing nothing to heighten the extreme tension and distress of the scene must be paramount in the crew’s minds. 

The effect of suicide on a property’s value

It may seem somewhat callous and uncaring to reduce the after-effects of a tragic suicide to dollars and cents, and that is not our intention. However, the sad fact is that life moves on and some of the wider consequences of suicide may impact people other than the immediate family of the deceased. It is almost inevitable that a property’s desirability and perceived/actual value will plummet in the months immediately following a suicide. The nature of the death is a highly influential factor, the effects of which can be hard to predict and vary wildly. Suffice it to say, the more unpleasant the scene, the further the value will tend to plummet. Some other contributing factors include:

  • Distance in time from the event (longer is better)
  • The area where the property sits and its overall desirability
  • Intended use as a primary residence or rental 
  • A 1031 exchange (swap for tax break purposes)

In many states, a death must legally be disclosed if it occurred within three years of the sale. Unfortunately for the homeowner, the longer any property sits untouched, potential buyers will start to have other questions and negative associations beyond the tragedy of the events there. Why has it been on the market for so long? Is there something else going on?

Why use Aftercare?

If you are unfortunate enough to require the services of an extreme cleanup crew in Virginia or North Carolina at any time of the day or night, Aftercare are the people you need to seek out. We pride ourselves on offering incredibly efficient cleanup services that are also:

  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • Discreet 
  • Respectful and compassionate
  • Fully licensed
  • In full alignment with all state/federal regulations
  • Rapid response no matter the date or hour

We will dispatch a team of qualified technicians to your location immediately on request and take the stress and discomfort of cleaning up after a tragedy off your hands. We understand all too well how awful suicide is, and part of our core values as a business and as empathetic humans is to do everything we can to alleviate the pain and suffering of our clients. To this end, we aim to complete each job thoroughly, quickly, and efficiently with no fuss or drama. Hopefully, it will lift some of the burden away from the bereaved and allow them to start processing events without bearing further witness to the traumatic scene or being involved further.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss any of our services or anything you have read here, please contact us at your earliest convenience. All calls are answered by qualified, experienced professionals who will treat any inquiry with respect and discretion. Our reputation as premium cleanup professionals is built on trust, and we always go above and beyond to show understanding and compassion to our clients in their most vulnerable, distressing moments.