Survivors of Suicide Loss Day raises awareness of support during COVID-19

by Gazette Reporter
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Friends of Suicide Loss Ireland (FOSL) are hosting International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day across Ireland this Saturday November 21.

As part of the day, there will be the annual ‘’Mourning has Broken’’ walk, and a special online event for friends and families bereaved by suicide with Irish Rugby Legend, Mike Ross, starting at 1:30 p.m. People can do the walk in their own locality, and purchase FOSL T-shirts and caps by emailing [email protected].

Former Ireland Rugby Player, Mike Ross shared his heart breaking story of losing his brother to suicide. He said: “One aspect of FOSL that attracted me was its ideas on promoting what is known as Postvention, which helps families, friends and communities after a suicide.”

FOSL CEO, Terry Connolly, said: “Living in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a trigger for suicide due to lockdowns, unemployment, isolation and restrictions to mental health services. From reports in the media and the number of calls to our helpline, there appears to be an increase in suicide rates to date in 2020.”

That evening at 7pm, FOSL will host a Virtual Symposium via Zoom, which is free to anyone bereaved by suicide. The keynote speaker at the Symposium will be clinical psychologist Dr. John R. Jordan PhD, from Rhode Island, who is an author, lecturer, and workshop facilitator, specializing in grief, bereavement, survivors of suicide, and a leading figure in the work of postvention.

FOSL provides Postvention support services for those affected by suicide such as outreach support, one to one counselling, support groups, members coffee mornings, walk & talk, workshops, conferences, lectures, research/publications, resources and information for the suicide bereaved, a library, training and education.

‘’The suicide of a loved one can have a profound and sometimes devastating impact on the family and friends left behind, called suicide loss survivors. Bereavement after suicide may entail high levels of disorientation, guilt, regret, anger, and trauma.

“Survivors also may struggle with the social stigma placed on suicide. Survivors can be at risk for elevated rates of complicated grief and suicidality themselves. All of this makes surviving the suicide of a loved one a potentially life-changing ordeal that requires all of the resilience that a survivor can muster, and all the support that family and community can provide,” says Dr. John R Jordan

FOSL CEO, Terry Connolly, continued: “FOSL Ireland is glad to be a part of this life-saving work. I’d like to thank everyone for helping to organize this event on 21st November. Thanks to their efforts, the way our society and communities treat families who have lost loved ones to suicide is changing for the better.

“More loss survivors are able to open up about their experiences, which is critical to the healing process and enables the suicide bereaved to live life again.”

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