SEARHC to host International Survivors of Suicide Day events

November 13 2012

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program and the Juneau office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Saturday, Nov. 17, will join hundreds of other sites around the world to host a Juneau event for the 14th Annual International Survivors of Suicide Day.

The Juneau event will be from 230-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Hammond Room at Centennial Hall. This event is free and walk-ins are welcome, but people are encouraged to pre-register to help us plan for the event. The schedule includes check-in and registration from 2:30-3 p.m., watching the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s DVD broadcast from 3-4 p.m., a chance from 4-4:45 p.m. for survivors of suicide to offer stories of hope and healing, and a short walk to Marine Park for a luminary lighting ceremony and music from 5-5:30 p.m.

International Survivors of Suicide Day is designed to support those people who have lost a loved one to suicide, giving survivors a chance to share their experiences and be supported in their loss. It’s also a chance to get information about resources for healing.

“This international day is both meaningful and helpful to the survivors that participate,” SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program Manager Wilbur Brown said. “It is a day of remembrance that provides survivors with a unique avenue to connect with others who have survived this tragedy of suicide loss.”

There also is an international webcast event that runs from 9-10:30 a.m., which people can view online. The webcast includes an international panel discussion featuring a group of experienced survivors and behavioral health professionals. After the international webcast ends, each of the local conference sites will hold local and regional discussions using satellite and Internet broadcast technology. Several local conference sites may use their own agendas that don’t include the international webcast (which is happening at most Alaska sites), and they may schedule additional activities such as healing circles, breakout groups and local panel discussions.

For those who can’t attend Saturday’s event in Juneau, they can access the international webcast through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website," http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?page_id=FEE7D778-CF08-CB44-DA1285B6BBCF366E. For those participating in the international webcast", an online chat will follow the event. Recordings from previous international webcast roundtables also have been posted on the AFSP site.

For more information," contact SEARHC Behavioral Health/Suicide Prevention Program Community Projects Coordinator Megan Gregory at 463-6645 or megan.gregory@searhc.org. In addition"," there are similar International Survivors of Suicide Day events scheduled at the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Department (contact Mark Kubo at chooselife@mktek.org) and the Annette Island Service Unit in Metlakatla (contact Sandra Wilson at swilson@aisu.org).

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