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Information for Healing Conversations volunteers

This page contains important information for those who have already been trained as Healing Conversations (formerly Survivor Outreach Program) volunteers.

Questions?

The best person to check-in with regarding any questions about your role as a Healing Conversations volunteer is your AFSP chapter's HC Coordinator.

If you are unable to contact your coordinator, please be sure to reach out to Shannon Donnick at the national office at sdonnick@afsp.org so that she can help to connect you!

Visit volunteer drop-in calls

Join AFSP Senior Manager of Loss & Healing Programs, Shannon Donnick, and your fellow Healing Conversations volunteers as they discuss the Healing Conversations Program. These calls are hosted every other month and are meant to provide volunteers with guidance as well as a way to connect with fellow conversation volunteers. It's a great way to ask questions and share ideas!

All calls take place at 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT / 6 pm MT / 5 pm PT. To join, dial 1-800-882-3610 and enter passcode 9566117.

Contact Shannon at sdonnick@afsp.org for upcoming dates.

Volunteer report

We appreciate every connection you make with a fellow suicide loss survivor. Following your conversation, within 24-48 hours, please complete this form so that we may record for your chapter.

Training materials

These Telephone Visit Guidelines are adapted from Pathways to Purpose & Hope: A Guide for Creating a Sustainable Grief Support Organization for Families and Friends after a Suicide Death, which was created by Friends for Survival and can be helpful guidelines on how to talk to suicide loss survivors by phone - often a great refresher prior to a phone visit.

Resources to share with loss survivors

Self-Care Strategies for Resilience While not a substitute for professional care, there are plenty of simple activities anyone can do to reduce stress, encourage wellness, and restore a sense of well-being during difficult times.

Our International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day documentaries can be viewed on our website and may bring some comfort and hope to suicide loss survivors.

AFSP's list of recommended books for loss survivors.

Children, Teens and Suicide Loss Learn about how young loss survivors understand and grieve a suicide death, and how best to provide support for them.

Hard copies of this booklet can be purchased in the AFSP store - please connect with your Area Director for all ordering needs.

Our online support group locator allows suicide loss survivors to search our database of support groups to find a meeting nearest their home.

Additionally, Alliance of Hope has online forums where loss survivors can meet – many people find them quite useful (especially if their community does not yet have an established support group and/or they are feeling too nervous to attend in person at this time).

Do you need more printed brochures, post cards or other AFSP materials? Please let your HC coordinator know so that they may order additional copies for you.

Self-care

The most effective and compassionate volunteers are the ones who remember to also pay attention to their own needs!

We value your time, compassion and dedication to AFSP & Healing Conversations, and the suicide loss survivor community as a whole, and we want to be sure you take care of yourself so that you can continue this important work.

A great way to be sure you are able to fully process and ground yourself following a conversation with a loss survivor is to create your own self-care routine and build the time right into your schedule. Not sure what a self-care plan is and/or how to create one for yourself? Here's a great article from Mindful Magazine that walks us through the process.

And please check-out AFSP's own Self-Care Strategies for Resilience which clearly & colorfully lists simple activities anyone can do to reduce stress, encourage wellness, and restore a sense of well-being.

Still need some ideas? Here's a great blog post written by Tara Criscuolo highlighting her favorite tips for self-care.

And here's another fun AFSP blog post, written by chef Melissa d'Arabian, about her favorite form of self-care (cooking!) along with some comforting recipes.

Finally, one more AFSP blog post, this time discussing how crucial it is for all of us to remain active participants in our healing process.

Email signature banner & social media

The signature banner is a great way to easily promote the program! If interested, please include the banner in your email signature. Every email you send will have the Healing Conversations logo at the bottom, linking to more information about the program.

Please download the file and then follow the instructions in the list below, depending on what email provider you use, to hyperlink your image to afsp.org/healingconversations.

Interested in spreading the word about HC on your social media? Please feel free to add this pink or this blue social shareable to your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

Thank you for all that you do! We appreciate you!

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