Virtual SafePlace FAQs

In light of recommendations for physical distancing, SafePlace meetings will be held virtually via Zoom until we’re able to resume meeting in person. SafePlace meetings are open for anyone who has lost a loved to suicide to connect with others who have experienced a similar loss.

My loss is recent – how do I know if I’m ready to attend a support group?

Everyone is welcome to join our meetings at any time after their loss. For some people it’s a few weeks or months, and for others, it may be many years before they are ready. Before joining, we suggest you reflect on the following questions: Am I ready to talk about my loss? Will I be able to share the airtime with others? Will I be comfortable listening to others talk about their losses? If the answer is no, or you aren’t sure, we suggest you start with a Survivor to Survivor visit, where trained suicide loss survivor volunteers will meet with you privately.

Will I be on video?

For privacy reasons, your microphone and video will be disabled upon joining the meeting. You will be able to enable these once in the meeting and we ask that you do join with video. Like in-person meetings, it’s helpful to see each other while sharing and to offer non-verbal support.

I don’t want people to see my full name.

There are websites that give guidance on changing your participant name prior to a meeting. You can remove your last name to help protect your full identity. This link to the NerdsChalk website provides information for different ways to change your participant name on different devices.

Will the meetings be the same as in-person meetings?

While the format of our virtual meeting is new to all of us, we’re doing our best to maintain the structure of our in-person SafePlace meetings. We start with some housekeeping, ground rules, a go around, open the meeting for discussion, and wrap with closing reflection.

We’ve found that the way the meetings run and flow are quite similar to in-person meetings. Participants are free to chime in as they’re able – like our in-person meetings, we encourage you to share and respond to one another. If you’d like to be invited into the conversation, please feel free to raise your hand to indicate you’d like a chance to share.

I’m worried about my privacy in a virtual meeting.

Privacy concerns are completely understandable. Like in our in-person meetings, we ask all participants to respect the confidentiality of those in the meeting as they would want their confidentiality to be respected.

Everyone who has access to the meeting link has lost a loved one to suicide. They have either attended an in-person meeting or filled out a form on our website requesting access. Our meetings are password protected and we have the most updated versions of Zoom with the most recent and up-to-date security features.

Who is facilitating these meetings? I’ve attended in-person meetings – will I have the same facilitators?

Like so many others, our facilitators’ schedules and availability have changed due to the current pandemic. While we don’t necessarily have the same facilitator pairings, we do have facilitators from every meeting location facilitating virtual meetings.

Below is our facilitator schedule (please note, facilitators may need a night off, so this is not guaranteed, but is the current schedule).

• Dan
• Either Michele and Jim or Ashley and Brian

• Lynn B.
• Jane
• Either Joe or Charlie

• Amy
• Larry
• Either Alex or Lynn C.

How will I know who will be there?

Like our in-person meetings, these virtual meetings are drop-in. Because of this, we can’t guarantee who or how many people will be at any given meeting. We recommend trying any given meeting more than once because who’s at the meeting and what people need from the meeting will be different each evening. You may also attend on a different evening to meet
different facilitators and participants.

If you attended an in-person meeting on a specific day of the week and month, try attending that same day of the month and you might eventually see familiar faces. You might also meet some new people you find you connect with.