International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is Saturday, November 19, 2022. When a loved one dies by suicide, the ones left behind, the survivors, are dealing with a loss that’s traumatic. The loss can come with stigma, real or perceived. The grieving person or family can feel isolated from people they considered their support. This all can result in survivors being stuck in their grief for years, missing support that can help them heal from the loss. So, how can we give care to survivors?
Fight the myths and stigma that can come with the topic of suicide. Four Corners is planning a suicide survivor event. Watch our website for more details on how to participate! Join a local suicide prevention coalition. Hold a workshop on suicide prevention in the community. Have materials available that give accurate information about suicide prevention and how to show support to those grieving from a suicide-related loss.
Show that you are approachable on this topic. Be there for people when they need to talk. Place messages in your church or worksite newsletter. Make sure you know the local resources such as a suicide support group. Have brochures available in your office, in bathrooms, and brochure racks. Post resources on a bulletin board, such as details about the suicide prevention hotline. To reach the hotline call or text 988.
Reach out to survivors and connect them to resources. Send cards and make calls to them on days that could be more painful, like the anniversary of the death or the loved one’s birthday. Invite them to coffee. Give them time to talk. Listen without judgement. Encourage participation in a support group to connect them to other survivors. Offer them counseling resources. Four Corners has a Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner on staff, Renee Duffek. Contact Four Corners for appointments in-person or via telehealth. You can also share the Four Corners LOSS Team number to get added support and connected to resources: 402-710-2161.
Survivors can be at higher risk for dying by suicide. Learn the signs and what to do. Be willing to be there for them and know how to connect them to resources, especially local. If you sense they are struggling, share your concern and take time to listen. If needed, stay with them until they get help. Know the suicide prevention crisis lines and put the numbers in your phone’s contact list. This will make it easier to share the numbers with others or to make the call if you need guidance.
Keep educating yourself on suicide prevention and supporting suicide survivors. Stay up to date on available resources. Share the message of hope with those who are struggling. Go to this link for Nebraska resources on suicide prevention: http://www.suicideprevention.nebraska.edu/
There are several upcoming mental health events you can attend.
- November 16th: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training- 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at York General Hospital
- January 25th: Adult Mental Health First Aid Training- 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in York
- February 8th: Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Training- 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Osceola
- February 25th: Adult Mental Health First Aid Training- 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Seward
For all events, please pre-register with Four Corners.
You could also host:
- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training: People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
- Mental Health First Aid Training: Learn to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. It gives the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help in order to give support to someone who may need it.
- Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Training: WRAP guides participants through the process of identifying and understanding their own wellness tools. It then helps them develop a plan to use these tools daily.
- Four Corners is supporting local schools in starting Hope Squads. Members are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers. They are trained by advisors to notice when someone is struggling and refer them to help. The program reduces youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention.
Suicide can be prevented. Many people show warning signs when they are thinking about hurting themselves. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or go to your local emergency room.
For local resources or a talk on this topic, contact Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573 or 402-362-2621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website for support group options and other resources at www.fourcorners.ne.gov. We all can make a difference!