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.

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Grief Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Virtual SafePlace Meetings

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.

These meetings are open for anyone who has lost a loved to suicide to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss. Meetings will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8pm. Please use the button below to sign up for the meetings and we will send you a Zoom meeting invitation.

Register for Virtual SafePlace meeting
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Remote Individual & Family Visits

Talking about such a tremendous loss can be overwhelming for some. If you’re not ready to attend a support group or if you need some extra time outside of SafePlace meetings, a pair of trained volunteers are available to offer support via Zoom video calls or phone calls, in more individualized and personalized “visits” in place of our Survivor-to-Survivor Network home visits. Please contact Emily Davis to schedule a remote visit from our volunteers.

Contact Emily

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.

Register for After Suicide Webinars

Part 1: Understanding Grief After Suicide Loss
Monday, June 8 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Saturday, June 13 @ 10:30am– noon

Part 2: Coping with Grief After Suicide Loss
Monday, June 15 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Saturday, June 20 @ 10:30am – noon

Please click all of the dates you would like to register for, as each session has a different access link.

SafePlace

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.

Community Support

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.

COMPLETE THE GRIEF SUPPORT SERVICES VOLUNTEER INTEREST FORM

“Finding SafePlace and people that truly understand where I’m coming from and understand my pain is very cathartic for me.”

Robert, SafePlace attendee and Council member