AFSP Contact: Alexis O’Brien, PR Director, 347-826-3577, [email protected]
Free Events To Be Held Nationwide for Suicide Loss and Healing on November 18
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Hosts Survivor Day
NEW YORK (November 7, 2017) – Ann Cea met her husband James on a blind date when they were in college in 1976. They were married for 31 years when James died by suicide. When Ann lost James, he was a 53-year-old self-employed automobile mechanic who liked to hunt, fish, camp and play golf. Prior to his death, James had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety. One year after his death, Ann went to a Survivor Day event with her daughter. It was there that she began to heal.
“Supporting those who have lost someone to suicide is part of our mission at AFSP,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP chief medical officer. “We know that support after a suicide leads to healing and can reduce the number of suicides in the overall population. I’m thankful we are able to help so many on this day in November.”
Hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (Survivor Day) is Saturday November 18 — the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Survivor Day is free and open to the public. To find a local event, you can visit www.afsp.org/survivorday.
There are over 375 Survivor Day events in 18 countries. This year, all gatherings will include a screening of The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope, an AFSP-produced documentary about the suicide loss experience, as well a new follow-up featurette, The Journey Revisited, in which six of the original Journey participants gather three years later to reflect on how their grief and healing journey is evolving.
Since attending a Survivor Day event, Ann has become active with AFSP and has developed a deeper understanding of what led to her husband’s death, and forged longtime connections with other suicide loss survivors. Her participation has included helping at community events such as tabling at Pride events, volunteering with the organization’s Out of the Darkness Walks, sharing AFSP’s education programs like Talk Saves Lives™, and organizing her local Survivor Day. She now finds meaning in helping other suicide loss survivors find their way to hope and healing — one day at a time.
Today, Ann Cea is a Survivor Day organizer and Chair of the Loss and Healing Committee and Secretary for the North Carolina Chapter of AFSP. She attests to the significance that connecting with others who have experienced the same type of loss can have for suicide loss survivors. “Within two months of losing James, I began attending a suicide loss support group. The group was incredibly helpful because they really understood my grief. Attending the group helped me realize my purpose of helping other suicide loss survivors. Sharing this grief and hearing from others who are further along in their healing journey gives me hope and is very comforting.”
For those not able to attend a Survivor Day event in person, AFSP will also offer an online “Survivor Day Live” event that will be streamed on AFSP’s National Facebook page at 4:30 p.m. on November 18 at www.facebook.com/afspnational.
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