COPING WITH SUICIDE LOSS
Losing a loved one to suicide is a painful and difficult experience. Please know you are not alone in your grief. We offer free support to loss survivors, people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Our services focus on non-judgmental listening, compassion, and peer support.
Grief Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic
After Suicide: Understanding Your Grief Webinars
The suicide of a loved one can have a profound and devastating impact on the family, friends, and communities left behind. People bereaved by suicide, sometimes called suicide loss survivors, may also struggle with the social stigma placed on suicide. Survivors can be at risk for elevated rates of complicated grief and suicidality themselves. Surviving the suicide of a loved one is a potentially life-changing ordeal that requires all of the resilience that a survivor can muster, and all the support and understanding that family and community can provide.
This two-part online workshop is meant for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, as well as for friends and family who wish to support a bereaved survivor. Part 1 will help the participants to understand who is most often touched by suicide (the epidemiology of suicide), and describe the common themes, reactions, and problems experienced by suicide loss survivors after the death. Part 2 will address things that survivors can do to help themselves cope with the loss. Guidelines about when survivors should seek professional help for their grief and ways that friends and families can be of help to survivors will also be addressed. At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Identify at least five common themes in bereavement after suicide;
- Identify common myths about the grieving process;
- Describe principles of self-help for suicide survivors; and
- Recognize when professional help is needed in the grieving process after a suicide.
Each part will be offered twice to accommodate varying schedules. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts, if possible. Material will be presented for the first hour, followed by Q&A. Webinars are led by licensed psychologist John R. Jordan. He has specialized in work with survivors of suicide loss and other traumatic losses for more than 40 years. He is the Clinical Consultant for the Grief Support Services program of Samaritans, the Professional Advisor to the Loss and Healing Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and the Co-Chair of the Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Samaritans’ SafePlace meetings are open groups of caring people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Samaritans trains volunteer facilitators who are also survivors of suicide loss. SafePlace is not a professional therapy group, but rather a peer support group providing a forum for exploring feelings often not understood by others. It offers a chance to share helpful resources, and to give and get support through the long process of grieving. Meetings are free, ongoing, and drop-in. There is no registration necessary. To view upcoming dates, click on the locations below.
*Effective March 20, 2020: In response to COVID-19, in-person SafePlace meetings have been suspended until further notice. In light of recommendations for physical distancing, SafePlace meetings will be held virtually via Zoom until we’re able to resume meeting in person. Please find information on registering for a SafePlace meeting in the section, Grief Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic, above.
Survivor to Survivor Network
When you are coping with suicide loss, the most helpful support may come from someone who has been through a similar loss. Survivor to Survivor Network (SSN) is a program where volunteers who have lost a loved one to suicide visit those who have experienced a loss. They are available to listen, answer questions, and provide support and resources. These volunteers have had time to regain their strength, and Samaritans screens and trains volunteers to offer trustworthy support.
To schedule a Survivor to Survivor visit, contact Grief Support Services Manager Emily Davis.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re looking to connect with volunteers outside of our virtual SafePlace meeting, please contact Emily Davis to schedule a peer support call.
With a death by suicide, many grieving people have questions and complex emotions. In addition to our individual and family services, we offer support to communities coping with a suicide loss. We are available to discuss common reactions, coping strategies, and resiliency building. Additionally, we are available as facilitators, encouraging participants to share their experiences. Those who have requested these services include high schools, colleges, faith-based organizations, elder service centers, corporate businesses, residential facilities, and local town community members.
To schedule a Community Support workshop, contact Grief Support Services Manager Emily Davis.
Lost Someone to Suicide and Ready to Help Others?
Samaritans’ Grief Support Services volunteers have been personally affected by a loss to suicide. Our volunteers are at a place of healing, and want to help others navigate the journey after a tragic loss. Interested in becoming a Grief Support Services volunteer? Please complete the Volunteer Form, and we will contact you shortly.
Samaritans maintains confidentiality, and will never share your personal information.