CrisisLink News and Information
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TONIGHT - Volunteer Meet & Greet & Update
Learn how you can save lives and prevent tragedies by volunteering with CrisisLink!
For more information, please click here.

TONIGHT - Flu Shot Clinic for Volunteers and Community Partners
The weather is growing colder, and that means it's time to get your flu shot! Please join us on Wednesday, November 12, from 5:00 pm-6:00 pm for our annual flu shot clinic.

Economic Uncertainty Leading to Increased Demand for CrisisLink's Services
CrisisLink Interviewed in Local Media

WAMU 88.5 [Real Audio Player] [Windows Media Player]
FOX5 [article] [video]

Fall 2008 Newsletter & FY08 Annual Report Now Available For Download!
Stay up-to-date on CrisisLink's programs and services and learn more about the issues affecting our community through The Link, CrisisLink's biannual newsletter.

Slumping Economy Got You in a Corner? Dial 2-1-1 for Help!
Click here to learn more about 2-1-1.


 SPOTLIGHT ON: The Tara Sirmans Survivor HOPE Program

When a suicide occurs in a community, countless people are impacted. Family members and loved ones can struggle for years with a grief that is further burdened by other complicated emotions and questions. Other community members may also be impacted by the traumatic loss: neighbors, co-workers, emergency rescue personnel, mental health professionals, law enforcement, clergy, and any other witnesses to the scene. The consequences of unresolved traumatic grief can be lifelong and devastating, both personally and professionally. Research shows that survivors of suicide are themselves at increased risk of suicide and, in fact, may benefit most from one-on-one support from other survivors in the aftermath of this tragic loss.

The Tara Sirmans Survivor HOPE Program provides a network of postvention services that complement CrisisLink's long-established prevention and intervention activities. See "Study Finds One-on-One Support Critical for Suicide Survivors" below for details.

For more information contact Mary Azoy, LPC, by email or at 703-516-6771.

To request the LOSS Team, call 703-241-LOSS.

Learn more about CrisisLink's full range of programs. 

 Tips for Survivors
 Surviving the Loss of a Loved One

  • Remember the basics of life - eat, sleep, exercise, & breathe

  • Keep a journal. Write down your feelings, dreams, and memories. This is a great and safe way to work through your emotions, and it lets you look back later to track your progress.

  • Allow yourself to talk about the person you've lost. Find someone you trust to do just that.

  • Remember that you've suffered a great loss and a horrific trauma. Allow yourself time to heal.

  • Give those around you the space and time they need to grieve and heal as well.

  • Find special ways to honor the memory of the person you've lost.

  • Learn more about suicide. Read books, surf the web, and talk with other survivors.

  • Other Survivor Resources... 

     Conversations: CrisisLink's Suicide Survivor Support Group
     Group members tell us how CrisisLink's support group is helping them

    Q. How long have you been a member of CrisisLink's Support Group?

    J.U.: One year -- I joined in Nov. 2007
    C.D.: I have been a member of the support group for about 9 months.
    J.T.: I've been a member for almost a year and a half.
    J.L.: I'm a new member, I've attended the support group one time.

    Q. What do you like most about the group?
    • I like that the group is led by a licensed counselor who has specific experience working with those impacted by suicide. I also like the diversity of participants, it shows that suicide is not specific to any one population.
    • My favorite thing about the group is that I can come as I am, however I might be feeling, and I never have to put on a brave face or pretend that I am "fine."
    • The sense of belonging, knowing that there are others who went through a similar experience and can understand what I am feeling.

    Q. Have you benefited from being a part of CrisisLink's bi-weekly support group?
    • Definitely. It has been healing for me to talk through my emotions and ask questions, as well as comfort and support other members in their loss. I feel much better able to cope with my loss through my participation in the group.
    • I have definitely benefitted from the group in multiple ways as I have gone through my grief process, especially because I know that I always have somewhere to go and someone to talk to. Sharing my experience with other people who have gone through the same thing, has been very healing and has given me a source of support that is irreplaceable.
    • Yes, the people that attend the group help make my burden of grief easier to bear. It's really hard for me to talk about what's upsetting me, but I feel much better letting it out in a safe place.

    Q. Does it help to share with people who have had a similar experience?
    • Without a doubt! Although each loss is different - how it happened, when it happened, who it was - I think that many of the feelings associated are similar, and it helps to discuss my grief knowing that I am surrounded by people who understand the unique nature of my loss and its aftermath.
    • Yes, everyone who attends the support group seems to be able to reach out to the others in the group, even if we've just met that night for the first time. There's a connection there, and a willingness to help each other.


     Study Finds One-on-One Support Critical for Suicide Survivors
     CrisisLink's HOPE Program and LOSS Team Responds

    [Reprinted from Fall 2008 Newsletter] -- A recent study published in the Journal of Life-Threatening Behavior shows suicide survivors - those who have lost a loved one to suicide - need one-on-one support from other survivors in the aftermath of this tragic loss. The study's findings also indicate survivors often have difficulty seeking help in the aftermath of a loss to suicide.

    CrisisLink's Tara Sirmans Survivor HOPE (Help and Outreach for Prevention and Education) Program provides immediate support in the aftermath of a suicide, a support group for survivors, and trainings for first responders and other professionals working with survivors.

    CrisisLink's bi-weekly survivor support group helps survivors through the complicated grieving process by providing an opportunity to express their feelings, and help one another find ways to cope with this traumatic loss. The group is professional facilitated by CrisisLink's director of Community Education and Crisis Reponse, Mary Azoy, who is a licensed professional counselor.

    "It's so important for me to be around people who truly understand how a suicide loss impacts aspects of our thoughts, views on the world, reality, and relationships. I like coming to the group because it's a safe place to feel the pain, experience the grief, and share the loss."--CrisisLink Support Group Member

    CrisisLink's LOSS Team (Local Outreach to Support Survivors) has volunteers - including suicide survivors - to provide immediate at-the-scene support to those impacted by suicide or other sudden traumatic loss. LOSS Team members help survivors cope with the frightening and often chaotic aftermath, and offer hope and guidance for the healing process to come. This immediate support is critical to help stabilize survivors and make sure they get connected to community resources so they themselves do not become victims of suicide.

    CrisisLink's Tara Sirmans Survivor HOPE Program served 300 people last year through support groups, LOSS Team responses, and trainings in postvention.

    Download the complete Fall 2008 Newsletter & Annual Report on our website. 

     Special Thank You: Reston Out of the Darkness Walk

    On October 11, nearly 150 people came together for the Reston Out of Darkness Walk, one of more than 100 community walks held across the country to raise awareness and support for suicide prevention programs and support services for those affected by suicide. This year's Reston Walk organizers chose to designate the funds raised through their walk--nearly $15,000--to CrisisLink's youth suicide prevention initiative. CrisisLink is truly grateful to Walk Coordinators Shannon and Jeff Smith, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and to all those who participated in this year's Out of the Darkness Walk in Reston.

    "We consider CrisisLink to be another resource in which we can further the greater good of suicide prevention. Being able to donate to CrisisLink allows us to advance programs within the communities that came together at our walk. With AFSP researching the fundamentals of suicide, educating professionals, and promoting policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention, and CrisisLink on the front lines, it seems like a natural partnership. We are very excited to contribute to CrisisLink's youth suicide prevention initiative and hope we are able to make a difference in someone's life."

    --Shannon Riley Smith, Organizer, Reston Out of the Darkness Walk

    View the Reston Out of the Darkness Walk web page. 

     Media Corner

    Seniors See Top Suicide Rate of Any Age Group
    Click here to read more.

    Experts: Economy is Leading to Increase in Crisis Calls
    Click here to read more and to watch the video

    Suicide Rates Rise Among Baby Boomers
    Click here to read more.

    Suicide Rate Rises in U.S. as More Middle-Aged Die
    Click here to read more.

    Is the Economic Crisis Leading to More Suicides?
    Click here to read more.

    Army and Agency Will Study Rising Suicide Rate Among Soldiers
    Click here to read more.

    Suicide on the Rise Among Tween Girls
    Click here to read more.


     Buy a Cookbook and Save a Life
     CrisisLink Cookbook for Sale Online

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, food is on everyone's minds! Comfort Food from CrisisLink, a cookbook featuring recipes from CrisisLink volunteers and staff, is a culinary expression of our mission. The cookbook features eclectic food that will satisfy anyone's appetite, along with helpful suggestions and hints for the chef. All proceeds from the sales of this cookbook go to support our efforts to save lives and prevent tragedies everyday.

    Cookbooks are available for purchase online for $15 each.


    Thank you for your support!

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