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The 30th Annual Healing After Suicide Loss Conference

29 Mar 2018 — 2 min read

BY Doreen Marshall, Ph.D., AFSP Vice President of Mission Engagement

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Volunteering to #StopSuicide

Mar. 29, 2018- This year marks the 30th Healing After Suicide conference, co- sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Association of Suicidology, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).  This conference, held in Washington, D.C. on Saturday April 21, 2018, will feature national speakers as well as healing activities for survivors of suicide loss. All who have been affected by a suicide death, whether newly bereaved or a long-term loss survivor, are invited to attend. More information about registration can be found at www.suicidology.org.

As a suicide loss survivor and an attendee since 2000 (I have only missed three conferences in the past 18 years), I can attest to the power of this event in terms of helping suicide loss survivors process their experience, and hear from leading experts about suicide grief.

Here are some of the not-to-miss events from this year’s Healing After Suicide conference:

  1. Keynote speaker Kay Warren – Kay Warren is the co-founder of Saddleback Church with her husband Rick Warren, and is the mother of a son who died by suicide. She will give a keynote address about this experience and share her insights about suicide loss.
  2. Luncheon with Iris Bolton – Iris Bolton is the author of My Son, My Son: A Guide to Healing After Death, Loss, or Suicide. Iris Bolton wrote one of the first books available for parents who have lost a child to suicide. Iris’s son Mitch died by suicide, and Iris will share her thoughts about suicide loss and healing, having been a key figure in the suicide bereavement movement since her son’s death in the 1970’s.
  3. Suicide Loss Sharing sessions – These are facilitated support group sessions for those who have lost family members and friends to suicide loss. These sessions provide a safe place for loss survivors from around the country to share their experiences with suicide loss.
  4. The Doctor Is In session – I will be co-facilitating with Dr. Michael Myers, a leading psychiatrist in suicide bereavement, a Q & A style session in which suicide loss survivors are invited to ask questions about suicide, suicide loss and other mental health-related concerns.
  5. Meaning-Making Among Long-Term Loss Survivors – This session, led by Rebecca Sanford and Quintin Hunt, is designed for loss survivors who are more than two years past their loss and find themselves questioning, “Now what?” in terms of their journey moving through suicide grief.

For the complete conference schedule, please see the information about the Healing After Suicide conference at www.suicidology.org.  This is an event that suicide loss survivors won’t want to miss, and is a good opportunity to meet other loss survivors from around the country.

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