As the holiday season approaches, the loss of a loved one due to suicide can be very difficult to cope with. This day is about showing support to those who survive them by sharing a connection and understanding these experiences. Thanks to a resolution proposed by U.S. Senator Harry Reid in 1999, the Saturday before Thanksgiving has been designated as the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (Survivors Day for short). Because Senator Reid lost his father to suicide in 1972, this cause was close to his heart.
Today, Survivors Day is observed worldwide with different events and support groups. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is hosting an International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event in seven different locations in California this year, several of which are virtual. Visit the ASFP website for specific details at afsp.org/international-survivors-of-suicide-loss-day.
During these hard times of the COVID 19 pandemic and online learning, being a college student has never been harder. If you or someone you know is in crisis, know that you are not alone! Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline to find someone to talk to: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Ways to observe International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Attend a Survivors Day event. These events can help some people through difficult stages of grief and heal from the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.
Write about it. Take some time to try to understand your feelings by expressing yourself through art by journaling or writing a poem about your loved one.
Reach out. Find a local grief support group where you can meet with other survivors and professionals who can help get through this loss
Remember them. Holding on to good memories about a loved one who was lost to suicide can be a positive coping mechanism and is a great way to honor them.
Suicide Prevention/Mental Health Resources
twloha.com - To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.
projectsemicolon.com - Project; is a worldwide mental health organization dedicated to help people struggling with mental illness.
thetrevorproject.org - The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization for suicide prevention among the LGBTQ+ community
afsp.org - The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leading foundation dedicated to not only preventing suicide but also helping those who are affected by it.