The holidays are upon us. A time when the season encourages us to give thanks, express gratitude, and be in the company of loved ones. For many people, a loved one’s absence over the holidays can be a difficult emotional time, despite the seasonal cheer.
At the Dave Nee Foundation, we recognize that while we all grieve differently, we all grieve. It is said that grief after suicide may be more complex because of societal shame and stigma associated with death by suicide.(1) Support groups for those who have lost someone to suicide have been found to be helpful because there is a sense of understanding of the complicated emotions that come from such a sudden and tragic and often inexplicable loss.(2) In 1999, a national survivors of suicide day was established by Senator Harry Reid.(3) It is hoped that on this day a little comfort can be found for all of those, all of us, who have lost someone we loved to suicide.
The Dave Nee Foundation joins our colleagues in recognizing International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, November 21, 2015. This is but one day to remember and reflect. We encourage you to reach out and ask for help and support when needed. Help is available 24/7/365.
Below are a few unique ways to recognize and remember those who have died by suicide within a national context and within a community of those who understand and care.
Add to a digital quilt at http://www.survivorday.org/the-quilt/
Attend an online event, http://www.survivorday.org/survivor-day-live/
Find a live survivor event to attend, http://www.survivorday.org/find-an-event/
Join a survivor of suicide loss support group, http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support/in-person-support-groups
Explore online support resources at http://www.allianceofhope.org/
If you or someone you care about may be suicidal please call 1-800-273-TALK, 9-1-1, or visit your nearest emergency room.
(1) Sveen, C. A., & Walby, F. A. (2008). Suicide survivors’ mental health and grief reactions:A systematic review of controlled studies.Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior,38, 13–29
(2) Supiano, Katherine P. 2012. “Sense-Making in Suicide Survivorship: A Qualitative Study of the Effect of Grief Support Group Participation.” Journal Of Loss & Trauma 17, no. 6: 489-507