Survivors of Suicide Loss Peer-to-Peer Support Group launching in Staunton on Jan. 9
The support group will meet on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Staunton Augusta YMCA in Staunton.
“This area has been without a support group for some time,” said Crystal Graham, a board member for the Virginia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Since I’ve been involved with AFSP for two plus years now, it is the single greatest request that we get.”
AFSP paid to send two suicide-loss survivors to Manchester, New Hampshire, in the fall to receive training to lead the support group. Brooke Anderson and Graham will serve as co-facilitators for the group. Anderson has had two family members die by suicide – her dad when she was 9 and her God brother when she was 24. Graham’s identical twin sister died by suicide when they were 15.
“The purpose of this group is to talk about our own experiences, and through that, try to help others who may have experienced a more recent loss,” said Anderson.
Anderson is a lead volunteer with the state chapter of AFSP and recently led the Survivor Day event for AFSP held in Staunton and coordinated additional Survivor Day events throughout the state.
“While we aren’t counselors,” said Anderson, “we are individuals who share the experience of losing a loved one to suicide. This type of loss has its own unique challenges. The peer to peer group gives everyone an opportunity to discuss their feelings with others who understand what they are going through.”
The group is for suicide loss survivors and is free and confidential.
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