Survivor Support in Idaho
Death is one loss that everyone shares. Even expected deaths, at the end of full productive lives, bring grief to family and friends. We are always reminded of our own mortality and the transient nature of our time on earth.
A suicide death is one of the most difficult to bear. With a single act, every relationship is irreparably affected. Grief is complicated by the feelings of anger, shame and guilt. Everyone is left with the nagging question, WHY? The pain for survivors is complicated. First, we mourn the loss of someone we loved. Second, we've experienced a sudden, typically unexpected traumatic death. And third, although the pain of loss demands relief, we may not know how, when or if we should express it. This is because society, friends and even extended family may be uneasy in dealing with suicide and its aftermath.
It has been estimated that each death by suicide leaves behind 6 to 8 people who will be profoundly affected. If we consider roughly 41,000 suicide deaths in the U.S. yearly, then 246,000 to 328,000 individuals experience the trauma of surviving this loss. Suicide survivors are susceptible to depression, failed relationships and divorce, alcohol or prescription drug dependence and even suicide.
Survivors of suicide support groups play a vital role in helping survivors cope with grief and make the choice to find new meaning and direction in life. Such groups provide a safe place where one can share experiences and grief with others who are walking on the same road. Here a survivor finds a caring, accepting environment and can progress at his or her own pace. Many survivors have found a survivors of suicide support group has been a major factor in finding a new way of living in a world forever changed by their loved one's decision.
Suicide survivor groups in Idaho are playing vital roles today in group meetings as outlined above. In addition, facilitators (group leaders) often respond early to families and close friends after suicide and provide invaluable education to caregivers, clergy, schools and the general public regarding suicide. They are committed advocates for suicide prevention.
As suicide survivors, we are grateful for the help and understanding we have received. As survivors we can join with SPAN Idaho in making suicide prevention a viable force in Idaho. There could be no greater memorial to the lives of our loved ones than to prevent a death by suicide.
Resources for survivors of loss to suicide
Alliance of HOPE
Survivors of Suicide Loss
SPAN Idaho is working to provide assistance to survivors of suicide by maintaining a focus on survivors at our annual conference and supporting the creation of support groups across the state.
Below is a list of Survivors of Suicide support groups currently active in Idaho:
If you have information on other survivor support groups in your area or are interested in starting one yourself please contact SPAN Idaho at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 860-1703.