Military Suicide Grief an Interview with Kim Ruocco | Episode 6

About the Show

In this episode I have this distinctive honor of interviewing Kim Ruocco from TAPS who shares her personal and professional journey after suicide loss. We discussed the challenges of suicide grief -- how we balance honoring the lives our loved ones lived with fears of contagion in the community. How do we support children -- especially young children -- left in suicide's wake? The paradox of traumatic grief and the tensions of postvention are also explored. We identify a long list of resources to help military families who are facing the daunting challenge of living through a suicide tragedy. You don't want to miss this powerful and practical episode, especially Kim's closing story -- I was brought to tears.

Kim Ruocco.JPG

About Kim Ruocco

In 2005, Kim Ruocco lost her husband to suicide, Marine Corp Major John Ruocco. Subsequently she dedicated her life to raising awareness for suicide prevention and grief support along with the voices of thousands of military suicide survivors.

She is presently a Masters Level Clinical Social Worker and the Chief External Relations Officer for Suicide Prevention and Postvention for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

TAPS logo.jpg

Ms. Ruocco keynotes regularly at national events, most notably the DOD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference and multiple Marine, Army, National Guard and Navy safety stand downs. She has appeared on CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, NPR and NBC radio and quoted in Men’s Health, Christian Science Monitor, Stars and Stripes and Marine Times.

Ms. Ruocco assisted in the development of the USMC’s “Never Leave a Marine Behind” program, and she and her sons are also lead participants in the Sesame Street “When Families Grieve” video which is distributed internationally to families who have a recent death.

One effort that she is best known for is the development of comprehensive, peer-based programs that offer comfort and care to all those who are grieving the loss of a service member to suicide. She created a team of peer-professionals who provide care and comfort to nearly 8000 survivors of military suicide. The most impactful of these services is the TAPS Annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Conference, which offers hope and healing to 1000’s of survivors, and provides a camp and military mentoring for the children of the fallen.

Recently, she was recognized for her leadership with the “Survivor of the Year” award from the American Association of Suicidology.

Resources

TAPS Helpline.png
First Step.png
Sally Spencer-Thomas