Fall and winter months bring many holidays: times for gathering, celebrating, and being with loved ones. This time of year can be especially challenging and isolating for those who have experienced a suicide loss. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on November 19th is an annual event in which survivors of suicide loss come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experiences.
“That connection is what people need when they’re feeling isolated and that sameness… People look for resonance in their stories and just to know they’re not alone,” says Jessica Wolf, Bereavement Coordinator at the Crisis Centre of BC. “Support groups are important in the suicide bereavement process.”
Losing someone to suicide is a unique loss and can lead to several conflicting feelings and many unanswered questions. There is no one way to feel or grieve a death by suicide; everyone reacts and grieves differently. Although everyone’s grieving experience is different, survivors can find healing and support from opportunities to be with others who are also dealing with the loss.
“[It’s important to] just have a support group of people that have had a similar loss and not necessarily to go there feeling like I need to tell my story, but even just to hear people’s stories or if I feel in a place to talk then I can share my story,” said one of the participants of Wolf’s bereavement support group. “And not to feel alone – feeling alone is pretty tough.”
The Crisis Centre of BC will host an online gathering for suicide loss survivors as part of the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in collaboration with the British Columbia Bereavement Helpline. This two-hour event will give participants a chance to connect in a small group with others who have experienced suicide loss; a chance to counter the isolation of grief with a sense of community.
To register, visit https://vancouver-british-columbia.isosld.afsp.org/
To read more about the event and find other resources, visit: https://crisiscentre.bc.ca/international-survivors-of-suicide-loss-day/
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out:
- Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (no area code required)
- Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Director, Development and Communications
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW
- Lu Ripley, Director, Community Learning and Engagement
Jessica Wolf Ortiz, Coordinator, Bereavement (limited availability)