Breaking the Silence

AFSP Indiana Newsletter 

February, 2011
In This Issue
Indiana Campus Walks
The Overnight
Survivor Spotlight
Ride to Silence the Stigma
Join Our Mailing List!

AFSP Indiana Board of


Lisa Brattain (Survivor,  Board Chair)
Steve Sugino (Vice- Board Chair)
Sheila Mishler (Board President)
Doug Brattain (Suvivor, Secretary)
Nick Petrone (Board Treasurer)
Dr, Eric Crouse
Dr. John Nurnberger
Kimble Richardson
Dr. David Chaddock
Brian Shivers
Lisa Davis (Survivor, Survivor Support Coordinator)
Dee Burt (Survivor, Bloomington Walk Coordinator)
For more details about our Board of Directors please visit our Chapter Webpages at
Find us on Facebook

Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups 

Training Program:
Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups

Learn the "how-to's" of creating and facilitating a suicide bereavement support group. This two-day, hands on training program combines lecture, interactive discussion and role-playing with feedback. Designed for those who are just starting out or for experienced facilitators who want to polish their skills and learn more. Survivors of suicide loss, mental health professionals, and interested others are welcome to attend.
Upcoming Trainings:
Seattle WA: May 20-21, 2011 
Registration for Seattle, WA will open soon at

Houston TX: Date TBA  
Fargo ND: Date TBA
 Questions? Please email or call 1-888-333-AFSP (2377), ext 33.
Chapter AwardWe are very honored to announce that the Indiana Chapter of AFSP recently won the 2010 Chapter of the Year award /Mid-Size Market at the 2011 AFSP Chapter Leadership Conference in San Diego California, where Chapter Leaders from around the country (approx.170) gathered to learn about new programs, updated research, policies and share successful chapter accomplishements that might be beneficial to share in our own communities. Although it is wonderful to have our hard work acknowledged, and we will take a moment to celebrate, this motivates us to continue to work hard to Silence the Stigma of Depressiona and Suicide, Educate Hoosiers on Depressive Illnesses,  Help survivors of suicide loss find the resources that they need and advocate for better legislation regarding suicide and mental illness.  We look forward to your continued support!

Indiana Campus Walks - Spring 2011

Please Join us for one of the Campus Walks in Indiana during the Spring of 2011:

Indiana Campus Walks

Ball State University Campus Walk - April 2, 2011
McCutcheon High School, Lafayette- May 15, 2011

Registration is Open for 2011

walk logo
Registration is open for 2 of the Indiana Out of the Darkness Walks for the Fall of 2011.  We anticipate 9 walks in Indiana for this fall.  Check the website regularly for a walk near you!
Indiana OOTD Walks 2011


         The Overnight- Out of the Darkness Walk 

           goes to New York City, June 4-5th, 2011 

Overnight logoAre you considering The Overnight in New York City on June 4-5?  Please also consider registering under the Indiana Chapter Team if you will be attending The Overnight!  By joining the walk registered under the Indiana team, you will ensure that 25% of the money raised by this team will come back to Indiana for awareness, education and survivor support initiatives.  Click Here to Register: Team Indiana Chapter

Survivor Initiatives in Indiana

Lifekeeper quilt

Lifekeeper Quilt Program 

We are working to create the 2011 quilt for Indiana.  Many of you have quilt packets pending and we hope you will get those back to us in time for us to have the sewing done and quilts ready to be displayed at the 2011 Out of the Darkness Community Walks.  If you are currently working on a square and have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask Lisa Davis (Coordinator) at or Lisa Brattain (Chapter Chair) at 317.774.1377.  The squares are created by you: your picture of your lost loved one, poem, writing, etc.  You choose the format and content of your square.  Some have posted pictures and hand written messages on their squares.  Some choose to add art work or poetry of their lost loved one.  You can print your finished work on transfer paper and iron it onto the material provided... or you can take the electronic file of what you would like printed to a shop like Kinkos and ask them to print it for a high quality picture.  It is entirely up to you.  If you are interested in creating a square to be added to the quilt, contact us as soon as possible and we are happy to send the packet out to you.  No sewing required!  We will take care of that.  



Volunteer Opportunity 




The AFSP Survivor Outreach Program: What It Is (and Isn't).

After a suicide, those left behind often wonder if there is anyone out there who really understands. They want support and compassion, as well as reliable information about suicide and its aftermath, but aren't always sure where to find it.


The goal of the Survivor Outreach Program is to facilitate trained volunteer survivors to provide support and practical information to newly-bereaved survivors upon request. The role of the Survivor Outreach volunteer is to listen, to let recent survivors know they're not alone, and to provide materials and information about local resources. Typically, Outreach Visits consist of one in-person visit of 1-2 hours in length. Outreach Visits take place upon request only, in a comfortable setting of the survivor's choice, and are generally made by a team of two volunteers. The Survivor Outreach Program is not intended to provide an ongoing system of support or any clinical or mental health service.

 This program is available only through participating AFSP chapters.




All potential outreach volunteers must meet all of the following criteria:

affiliated with a participating AFSP Chapter

a survivor of the suicide of a family member or close personal friend

at least 2 years from their own loss

sufficiently far along in their own healing (for example through attendance at a support group or counseling) to be able to listen, rather than needing to share their own story

able to accept that it is not their role to provide answers, but rather to offer their listening skills, support, and information about available resources

able to work well with other volunteer team members

willing and able to take a mandatory online training


What will I be doing?


Requests for Outreach Visits come in to the Chapter's Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator. The Chapter's Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator will obtain some basic intake information about the requesting survivor(s), and then provides that information to the volunteers assigned to the visit.


The volunteers then arrange the visit directly with the requesting individual/family.


In advance of each visit, the Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator provides the volunteers with packets of information for the survivor(s); these packets include information about local resources such as support groups, as well as other materials on surviving suicide loss.



Following each visit, volunteers must complete a short online

Volunteers' Visit Summary Form. This is a mandatory part of the




Next Steps to becoming a volunteer


1. Complete the online Volunteer Application

2. Phone Interview with AFSP's Survivor Initiatives Department.

3. Training: All applicants must take the mandatory free online training prior to conducting any visits.

4. Volunteering: After completing the online training, you will be ready to serve as a volunteer in the Survivor Outreach Program. Your local Survivor Outreach Coordinator will contact you as needed to ask you to go on visits.

5. Ongoing support and guidance: Volunteers are welcome to participate in free monthly drop-in conference calls, conducted by a member of AFSP's Outreach Program Training Corps.


If you have any questions or would like more information about the program, please contact the Indiana Chapter Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator, Lisa Davis at (317) 430-5000, or AFSP's Survivor Initiatives Department ( or 212-363-3500 ext. 33).

Survivor Spotlight - Dee Burt (Bloomington Indiana)



The Greatest Gift is Forgiveness


February is the month of love.  What better way to celebrate love than to forgive ourselves and every single person who we believe has ever brought us harm?  It took me a long time to touch the fresh, crisp, scent of guiltlessness and it was through practice that my heart opened and allowed love to heal me.

Forgiveness brings along with it a new dimension to life; hope.  Every trauma holds its solution in the middle of its pain; it is through hope that we take one step and then another right through the pain toward the understanding that there are some things that cannot be changed.

Forgiveness nurtured my walk and cleared a pathway to hope.  I had felt self-hatred and hatred toward my dear late husband, Nick who took his life in 1987.  I found out the hard way that the quickest way to experience hell on earth was to harbor hate.  I watched our children hang their heads as they followed me dragging myself through iron gates of guilt.  My words, "It's not your fault.  I should have loved Daddy more," rolled off my tongue as I looked into their sad, questioning, eyes. Children will feel what you feel not what you say.  Unfortunately, the real message was loud and clear, 'It was my fault and if only I had listened, he would still be alive.'

Have you regretted making mistakes?  Have you too second guessed your decisions? I made a million mistakes, and I hope I make a million more.  Mistakes now are motivations for communicating honestly.

Forgiveness reconnected me to everything beautiful.  The trees, flowers, and landscape vibrated with health and appreciation for life.  Forgive and your life will change for the better. Everyday miracles will spring out of the fog.  Forgive situations like suicide you have no control over; your heart and soul will lighten up in gratitude. 

Your loved one is gone physically, yet what did he or she love to do?  When your mind is free from guilt it can remember times when your loved one felt bliss and treasured life.  Celebrate those times and honor a life well lived; please do not focus on the days or weeks or moments that revolve around the end of it.  May you sing and dance and play with forgiveness front and center in your life.  Bless You.

Dee is an AFSP Indiana Board Member, the Bloomington Out of the Darkness Walk Chair, a Counselor and Educator, and the Author of One Side of Suicide, and co-founder of Pen & Publish.

2nd Annual Motorcycle Ride- Ride to Silence the Stigma

Silence the Stigma Motorcycle logo
Please join us on June 11, 2011 at Harley Davidson of Indianapolis on East 96th Street for the second annual Ride to Silence the Stigma, Motorcycle Ride/Poker Run.  The dealership will be providing doughnuts and coffee in the morning, and we will be grilling lunch directly following the ride.  As a ride participant, you will received an event t-shirt and you will be given a 15% discount on merchandise within the dealership on the day of the event.  Please join us on June 11th to raise awareness as we ride throughtout the city, and then stay with us for food and prizes following the ride!
Please register online at  


Ride to Honor a Loved One, Ride to Support the Cause,
Ride to Raise Awareness!


Thank you for your continued support of AFSP Indiana!  It is our pleasure to serve our communities and survivors.  Together, we WILL make a difference!  Our stories DO matter!
News Story from January 16, 2011- WRTV6




Lisa Brattain ~ Chair
AFSP Indiana Chapter
P.O. Box 1793
Noblesville, Indiana 46061

Silence the Stigma! Join us in our efforts to educate, raise awareness & support survivors of suicide loss

In the US, every 15 minutes someone dies by suicide. Every 16 minutes someone is left to make sense of it.