National Survivors of Suicide Day

On Saturday, Nov. 20, Fitchburg State University will join more than 250 conference sites participating in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Survivors of Suicide Day.

The 12th annual program features a panel comprised of survivors of suicide loss and medical experts. The day will allow survivors of suicide loss to connect with other survivors in their local community, and online, in an empowering and healing environment. The program is also available online at http://www.afsp.org/ and will be archived for two years.

It is estimated that each year, more than 32,000 people die by suicide in the United States, and every one of them leaves behind loved ones and friends. For some survivors, AFSP’s National Survivors of Suicide Day is the first time they will share their grief, reach out for support and support others.

“The Survivor’s Day Conference can be a very powerful and healing experience for participants,” said Jannette McMenamy, associate professor of psychology at Fitchburg State University and the organizer of the local observance. “Research indicates that survivors of suicide loss find talking with other survivors to be very helpful.”

The Fitchburg State University site is the only conference location in Central Massachusetts. It represents a collaborative effort between Fitchburg State University, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, a project of CHNA9.

The conference on Nov. 20 is open to all survivors of suicide loss. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. in Kent Recital Hall in the Conlon Fine Arts Building, 367 North St., and lunch will be provided. The national broadcast will begin at 1 p.m. The fee for the conference is $15; scholarships are available. For additional information and to register, please contact Marie Zbikowski, MZbikowski@luk.org, 978-829-2450.

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