MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) hosted a Suicide Survivor and Bereavement Leadership Summit, which brought together 20 of the nation's leading caregivers, researchers, and pioneers in the field of suicide grief support to discuss how to better help people bereaved by suicide in communities across the United States.
A key conclusion reached at the Summit was that current services fall far short of meeting the needs people face after a loved one dies by suicide. Participants agreed that these needs could be better met if the top priority of organizations that work with people bereaved by suicide was helping survivors cope with their grief.
"We should engage survivors of suicide as prevention volunteers, advocates, and supporters for others," said Dan Reidenberg, executive director of SAVE. "Survivors have been a powerful and important foundation in the history of the suicide prevention movement since the 1980s, and more recently with the release of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in 2001."
"However," Reidenberg said, "the overwhelming consensus of the experts at the Summit was that other areas of the National Strategy have overshadowed the importance of addressing survivors' bereavement needs and that helping survivors cope with their grief must be treated as a national priority because of the impact these traumatic losses have on thousands of individuals every year."
"SAVE is committed to providing the leadership necessary to make this cause a priority," he said. "Our plan is to provide people grieving after a suicide with the help they need, when then need it, and where they need it."
Franklin Cook, Director of Survivor and Bereavement Programs at SAVE, said: "Everyone who participated in this Summit described it as a step in the right direction, and one person even called it 'a historic moment' for suicide survivors. These leaders and hundreds more like them in communities across the country want to see people grieving after a suicide receive the comfort and assistance they deserve after such a tragic loss, and we want to help them make that happen."
Suicide is a national public health crisis that is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. SAVE works to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness, and serving as a resource to those touched by suicide. To learn more about SAVE, visit www.save.org.
SOURCE Suicide Awareness Voices of Education