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A Day For Sharing and Remembrance

Published in Suicide Prevention Author: Lisa Bershok, MSW, LICSW, CentraCare Suicide Prevention Program Manager

In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, who lost his father to suicide, introduced a resolution to the United States Senate, leading to the creation of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Also known as Survivor Day, the day was designated by the United States Congress as a day on which those affected by suicide can join together for healing and support. It was determined that Survivor Day would always fall on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving, as the holidays are often a difficult time for suicide loss survivors. A survivor of suicide is a family member or friend of a person who died by suicide. Anyone who is close to someone who died by suicide, or feels affected by it, is a survivor. You do not have to be a family member to feel the impact of a suicide.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day allows survivors to find connection, understanding and hope through shared experiences. Losing a loved one to suicide is a unique grief. A safe environment is provided for the attendees to share their experience in the presence of others who understand. The time is for sharing and remembrance. The event is planned to allow loss survivors to be supportive of one another.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day brings those affected by suicide together for connection, healing and support. Join other loss survivors for #SurvivorDay on Nov. 20. Find an event near you at American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Due to COVID-19, CentraCare has partnered with the Minnesota Chapter of the AFSP again this year to hold a virtual Survivor’s Day event. The event will have the same format as our in-person events, with the main activities being watching a loss survivor documentary and breaking into small discussion groups. This year we will also host a panel of suicide loss survivors. Click here to register for the event.

Before we enter the holidays, it’s important that we take a day to remember those in our lives who we won’t be able to gather with this season. While it may be difficult to talk about, our loved ones who have died by suicide are always close to our heart. You are not alone. Join with other loss survivors. Healing takes time.

For additional suicide loss survivor resources, please visit our CentraCare Suicide Prevention webpage.

This blog post is not monitored. If you, or someone you care about, is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “MN” to 741741.