Posts in suicide grief
ANNOUNCEMENT: First National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention: A Call to Action for Workplaces to Make Suicide Prevention a Health Priority

Today on World Mental Health Day, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and United Suicide Survivors International (United Survivors), announce their collaboration and release of the first ‘National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention.’ These Guidelines — built by listening to the expertise of diverse groups like HR, employment law, employee assistance professionals, labor and safety leaders, and many people who had experienced a suicide crisis while they were employed — will help employers and workplaces become proactively involved in suicide prevention in the workplace. Employers ready to become vocal, visible and visionary and who are ready to take the pledge to make suicide prevention a health and safety priority visit WorkplaceSuicidePrevention.com.

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Workplaces Coping with the Trauma and Grief of Suicide

The majority of people who die by suicide are of working age, and almost all of them are employed, previously employed or a family member of someone employed at the time of death; however, workplaces are often ill-equipped to provide grief and trauma support after such a tragedy. Many workplaces, if they provide grief support at all, do not usually take into account the complexities or duration often needed to cope in the aftermath of suicide.

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Men and Suicide Loss: An Often Invisible Grief

…Most men in our survey attributed to any differences in suicide grief between men and women to male socialization to be strong and self-reliant and at the same time, many wished that they had access to more supportive men-friendly resources during their bereavement. We know that family members who have lost someone to suicide have an increased risk of suicide themselves — partly because of the exposure effect, partly because the suffering is so great, and partly because of the yearning to be with their loved one. Thus, we owe it to the men who want different options for suicide grief support — perhaps peer-to-peer, one-on-one, or side-by-side — to find innovative ways to help men honor their losses and find ways to integrate the tragedy into their life’s story.

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The Paradox of Traumatic Grief

…The course of a complicated bereavement, like the process that often follows suicide, usually does not follow the straightforward path outlined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross so many decades ago, but rather twists and turns and circles back on itself through mazes of denial, sadness, anger, shame, blame, and multiple physical reactions.  Several authors have described an “oscillating process” in complicated bereavement – a moving back and forth between loss-orientation and restoration orientation, between growth and depreciation…

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7 Untold Stories of Suicide Prevention and Suicide Grief Support

…I don’t really have the chops to be a researcher or the patience to be a clinician, but I often find myself in new territories, listening to people share their insights about living through unimaginable suffering. Then I look to connect partners much smarter than I who can make a difference in alleviating that despair. So, as I am listening, I think to myself, “there are the stories I wish we would talk about more.” 

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Leadership and Mental Health Initiatives: Denver Fire Department Case Study

Firefighters are a unique breed. They run into burning buildings when everyone else is trying to escape. They respond to gruesome medical calls. And they do it all as a team. There’s a brother/sisterhood that comes with being part of this elite crew, and while there are many positive things that result from that connection, it can also create a tough guy mentality that leads them to believe they can’t or shouldn’t seek outside help when they’re struggling. As one firefighter told me, “We literally depend on each other’s lives to be mentally sound. It is our strength to compartmentalize, stay decisive, and move on that is valued in this work.”

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