Survivor Voices: Sharing the Story of Suicide Loss is a two-day training designed to teach those bereaved by suicide how to speak safely and effectively about their experience and loss. Through the sharing of personal stories, survivors of suicide loss provide insight that goes beyond traditional suicide prevention training. These insights can promote healing for those who are newly bereaved, educate the public about how to support survivors of suicide loss, and increase awareness and understanding of risk factors and warning signs for suicide. The Helpline Center will soon be offering this training to individuals that are interested in sharing the story of the person they lost to suicide and about their ongoing healing.
The training prepares each participant to tell their story safely and effectively to various audiences, enhances public speaking skills and the ability to respond safely to audience and media questions, and provides education about suicide prevention and resources for survivors of suicide loss. The process of sharing stories and messages is very personal and intense, and the training encourages and promotes mutual support and healing among participants. The small group size is intended to allow time for sharing and caring.
Developed by NAMI New Hampshire, specific best practices and guidelines found in the training include information on safe messaging, media recommendations for reporting on suicide, and memorial guidelines.
Survivors of suicide loss who complete the two-day training will have:
- Greater knowledge of how to safely and effectively tell one’s story of loss publicly.
- Greater ability to hone one’s message for a general or specific audience.
- Greater ability to safely respond to questions from audience members or media.
- Greater ability to familiarize others with suicide prevention resources and resources for survivors of suicide loss.
- Greater comfort with telling one’s story after having practiced it in a safe environment.
- Greater ability to connect survivors of suicide loss to each other and to resources.
Former speakers who have completed the Survivor Voices program have gone on to speak to a variety of audiences and have served as the honorary speaker for Helpline’s annual Step Forward to Prevent Suicide event. The Helpline Center is currently accepting interested individuals for the upcoming training. The training is offered in an intimate small-group setting, which will be held in person. Due to the small group size, space is limited and the two consecutive Saturdays will be scheduled based on participant availability. If you are interested, please contact Jennie Marks at (605) 274-1416 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sheri Nelson at (605) 274-1406 or email@example.com.
Survivor Voices participants will be screened to ensure they are emotionally ready to tell their story without having a setback in their own healing.