Suicide Bereavement Support

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The experience of a suicide-related loss is often isolating because of the stigma attached to this type of death. The Suicide Bereavement Support program offers a variety of services such as one-on-one counselling, a psycho-educational support group, individual peer support, and a drop-in group as well as educational presentations and debriefings to assist survivors in dealing with these issues.

Please note: CMHA – Calgary does not provide intervention for individuals contemplating suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the Distress Centre’s 24-hr Crisis Line at (403) 266-HELP or visit their website. If you or a person you know is at immediate risk of harming self or others, please call 9-1-1.

Download and print our Suicide Bereavement brochure or our Experiencing a Loss by Suicide brochure.

Professional counselling is available to individual survivors, families, and couples to develop an enhanced understanding of their own grief process. One-on-one grief counselling can be a complement to other resources such as short term Employee Assistance Programs.

This service is available for people in Calgary who are 18 years of age and over. Appointments may be made by the individual or by referral. Fees are based on a sliding scale. No one is refused service due to financial reasons.

For more information call Raquel at 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

The transition for those left behind after a suicide can be very difficult. Following the funeral, many survivors are left on their own to grieve. While professional counselling is an option, many say they would also like to speak with someone who has been through a similar experience. Individual peer support provides that opportunity by drawing on the experiences and strengths of trained volunteer survivors who can provide support to individuals who have recently experienced a loss by suicide. Previous one-on-one sessions with one of our counsellors is required before being matched with a peer.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call Raquel at 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

Educational sessions and workshops on suicide bereavement may be requested by interested community groups, professionals, post-secondary institutions, corporations, and local businesses. Subject matter may include information on the grief process, effects of grief on individuals and relationships, statistics, up-to-date research on theories surrounding grief, dealing with holidays and other significant events, self-care strategies, and resources for moving forward in a healthy way.

Debriefing in the Community

Counsellors will come to organizations, homes, or community meeting places to provide factual information after a suicide has occurred.

For more information call Raquel at 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

This group, facilitated by a peer volunteer survivor and a CMHA counsellor, provides a confidential and safe space for those who have experienced a loss by suicide to share, network and meet others who can understand and provide support. Session topics vary as determined by the needs of the group, but could include ongoing and continued support and assisting those with a recent loss.Groups are free and no registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions: 
March 15, 2017
April 5, 2017
April 19, 2017
May 3, 2017
May 17, 2017
May 31, 2017
June 14, 2017
June 28, 2017

*Note, there will be no Suicide Bereavement Informal Drop-in Group in July or August. Group will resume in September. 

Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Kahanoff Centre, Suite 400, 105 – 12 Avenue SE, T2G 1A1

For more information call Raquel at 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

Navigating life after a loss by suicide can be very difficult. Here are some community resources that may help support a survivor of suicide loss.

After a Suicide: A Practical and Personal Guide for Survivors (Resource provided by CASP)

Every year, over 500 people die by suicide in Alberta. Those left behind are left to navigate an often complex grief process that comes with a loss by suicide. Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is an international day to build support and community for those left behind.

Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a one day event for individuals who have lost someone to suicide to come together and connect in a supportive environment. CMHA – Calgary Region works with a group of devoted volunteers to present a day of connection and support for people who have lost someone to suicide.

When: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Where: TBD 
Time: TBD

Registration will open in the fall.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Due to the highly emotional and sensitive nature of the day, this event is primarily intended for adults only.

Registration is free or by a suggested donation of $20 per person or per family. Those wishing to donate can bring cash or cheque with them to the SOS Day event or donate online here. Cheques can be made out to Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region, indicating SOS Loss Day in the memo portion.

The Life after Loss group is co-facilitated by experienced counsellors and volunteers who have lost someone to suicide and have undergone training in peer facilitation. The group provides members with an opportunity to meet others who have experienced a similar loss, and to explore their own grief on a new level in a safe and supportive environment. Prior registration is required before the start date of each 10-Week Group series. Previous one-on-one sessions with one of our counsellors is required.

Groups take place once a week over a 10-week period, several times per year. Fees are based on a sliding scale. No one is refused service due to financial reasons.

Upcoming Sessions:

Dates: This group will run for 10 consecutive Tuesdays, beginning April 11, 2017 – June 13, 2017.
Times: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Kahanoff Centre, Suite 400, 105 – 12 Avenue SE, T2G 1A1

For more information or to register call Raquel at 403-297-1708 or email scheduling@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.

This social group is for people who have “graduated” from the 8 or 10 week Suicide Bereavement Support Group. This is an opportunity for people to gather in a social setting to meet others in a similar situation. The group meets once a month in different quadrants of the city.

Upcoming Meeting:

Stay tuned!

 

Reach out for help

Contact the Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region for more information at (403) 297-1700 or email: info@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.