National Survivors of Suicide Day is November 17.
A survivor of suicide in this context is the family and/or friends of someone who died by suicide. I continue to be amazed at just how many of those folks there are, ranging from myself to folks in every walk of life.
National Survivors of Suicide Day is an annual event sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The event consists of a network of sites throughout the country where groups of survivors come together to watch a broadcast of speakers dealing with emotional support, available resources, and the like. It also communicates to the participants that they are not alone.
For the first time we in Lake County are setting up a site. It is a collaborative effort of my office (primarily my Executive Assistant), our Lake County Suicide Prevention Task Force and the City of Mundelein (which has helped with the actual location). We will hold ours at the Mundelein Fire Station (1000 Midlothian) on Saturday, November 17 [call Kathy, 847 377 2200, if you would like to attend; other information is available from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention]. The other option is to watch the webcast that will be up for the ensuing year.
The AFSP promotes this event as a “healing conference” and I am sure that it is. Just knowing that you are not alone in your experience of losing someone to suicide has a great salutatory effect. Also knowing where you can get more information and support can be critical, because your feelings, grief, and questions will not go away quickly. There are those that can help and support for the long haul.