Local organization hosts International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

by Life Editor Melissa Parker

The Healing Place in Muscle Shoals will host the second annual International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Nov. 21 from 9 – 11 a.m.

The event, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said UNA Biology Instructor and event organizer Jason Jones.

“It’s for individuals who have lost someone to get together, talk about their own experiences and where they are in their healing process,” he said.

Junior Danielle Fonoimoana said she is attending the event in support of her cousin who lost her husband to suicide earlier this year.

“For me, being a survivor of suicide wasn’t something I thought about until it happened to be a couple months ago,” she said. “It happened close to home with my cousin and her husband.”

Fonoimoana said he (the husband) suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

 “There are so many out there who suffer from the same condition,” she said.

Sign in and socialization begins at 9 a.m., followed by a screening of “Family Journeys: Healing and Hope after a Suicide.”

The documentary, produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention shows how suicide impacts families and communities and explores the challenges survivors face when coping and healing.

“People don’t talk about this kind of stuff and it needs to brought to the forefront,” Fonoimoana said. “I feel like the more we support and the more we talk about it, people will be there to share their own stories as well.”

Local survivors and mental health professionals will give presentations.

Group discussions of loss and individual journeys through the healing process will follow.