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Mental Hygiene

Posted on: March 16, 2018

Collaboration Assists Survivors of Suicide Loss

Bereavement Support Group Partnership outside CHPCPictured above, representatives from the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care come together to offer a Survivors of Suicide Loss Bereavement Support Group. From left to right: Ann Rosenthal, Victoria Patti, Jamie Probst, and Carri Raynor.


LAKEWOOD, N.Y.:--The Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care (CHPC) are collaborating to sponsor a Survivors of Suicide Loss Bereavement Support Group. The group offers families who have lost a loved one to suicide a safe place to share with others who have similar experiences.


Started in 2012, the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention is a group of agency professionals and community members with the common goal of creating awareness around the issue of suicide. The Alliance support, organizes, and sponsors numerous events and trainings throughout the county for suicide prevention and awareness. It is dedicated to protecting and promoting life by fostering shared responsibility through increased awareness and community supports while embracing hopefulness and resiliency in the Chautauqua region.


“The death of a loved one by suicide presents special problems in grieving,” said Jamie Probst, Director of Bereavement Services at CHPC. “There is often more shock, a greater sense of injustice, more guilt and blame, and a heightened sense of helplessness; and these all tend to complicate the healing process for survivors.”


The Suicide Loss Support Group meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month at Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, 20 W. Fairmount Ave. in Lakewood, N.Y. beginning March 20, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. The Group is open to all adult survivors of suicide, 18 years and older. Those who attend will also be provided an informational toolkit with resources about services available locally, coping with loss, and other national resources provided by the American Foundation for Suicide prevention. The toolkits were created by the Alliance and funded by a grant received from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center of New York.


“Working with the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Hospice and Palliative Care to bring a support program is a step in the right direction to increase available resources to those who have experienced suicide loss and is greatly needed within our community,” said Carri Raynor, Alliance Member and Bereavement Group Facilitator.


"We are so pleased to be able to work and partner with Hospice for this support group,” said Victoria Patti, Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene Community Engagement Coordinator and Training Specialist and Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention Coordinator. “Carri Raynor and I were trained in suicide bereavement group facilitation training in Denver, CO in June through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). We learned that grief and healing after losing someone you love to suicide is unique and sometimes needs unique supports. By partnering with Hospice, we feel that with their compassion and successes in providing support to bereaved individuals it was a natural fit to host a suicide bereavement group with them. The group will welcome adults over the age of 18 and we hope to create a safe, healing, and supportive environment for anyone who attends. We hope in the future that we can continue working with Hospice to offer suicide bereavement groups to children and teens.” 


CHPC provides hospice care for patients and families facing life-limiting terminal illness, palliative care for those with serious chronic illness, and bereavement support to individuals, families and organizations who have suffered the loss of a loved one. For more information about Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care, visit www.chpc.care or call Jamie Probst at (716) 338-0033, x212.

For more information about the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention, please search for the Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention on Facebook or contact Victoria Patti at (716) 753-4519 or pattiv@co.chautauqua.ny.us

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