Support offered to those affected by suicide
People who have lost a loved one to suicide will be able to find emotional support at a special event next weekend.
Survivor Day will mark the first observance of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in Bermuda.
The event will be sponsored by the grief support group Losing Someone to Suicide, or Loss, and supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
A spokesman for Loss said: “Survivors will never ‘get over’ the loss of their loved ones.
“But ending the stigma that has historically surrounded talking about suicide is critical in beginning the healing process from the trauma of such a devastating loss.”
Survivor Day will feature a documentary, Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss, which follows how the friends and family of a young man dealt with his death.
It will also feature a panel of mental health professionals who work at schools, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Centre and churches to discuss how to maintain personal wellness while grieving.
Speakers will also talk about their experiences of losing a loved one to suicide at the gathering, to be held at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.
Survivors Day was established in 1999 when United States senator Harry Reid lost his father to suicide.
The day falls on the Saturday before the American Thanksgiving holiday because it is regarded as a difficult time for grieving families.
Survivor Day was marked in 20 countries last year, with 370 events taking place around the world.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said on Mental Health Awareness Day this year that there were 16 known suicides in Bermuda between 2006 and 2015.
The Coroner’s Office recorded 25 deaths by suicide in Bermuda between 2009 and 2018.
The Loss spokesman added that statistics from the Bermuda Hospitals Board showed that a total of 472 cases of attempted or suspected suicide were admitted to hospital between 2000 and 2017.
The Survivor Day event will be held on November 23 from 10am to noon.
• Attendance is free and can be registered at afsp.org/survivor_day/hamilton-bermuda/.
Attendees were asked to bring a photograph of their loved one to put on a memory board.
The event is also open to people who support survivors of loss in a private or professional role.
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