Hearty Maine Hello.
This Saturday is the 2021 International Survivors of Suicide Loss (ISOSL) Day, an official day to honor the unique experiences of those who have lost a loved one to suicide. I am an undergraduate student in my final year here at UMaine and in December it will be six years since I lost my dad to suicide. As an out-of-state first generation student, my experience as a suicide loss survivor continues to impact my college life. And I am not the only survivor of suicide loss on campus.
For me, and many other survivors of suicide loss, this holiday season is marked with hardship as our families gather for celebrations around empty seats. Losing a loved one to suicide provides survivors with a powerful perspective that strengthens suicide prevention efforts. For the past three years, I have worked with Jessica Browne, therapist and Co-coordinator of Outreach, Education and Prevention Services at the Counseling Center, to plan and facilitate a discussion group for survivors of suicide loss on ISOSL Day.
This year, we are hosting the following events to strengthen mental health support and suicide prevention in our community:
Friday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. – Community Dialogue in the Bumps Room, Memorial Union
Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. – Solidarity Vigil in the field next to the Steam Plant Lot, College Avenue
Saturday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. – Survivors’ Discussion at the Wilson Center, 67 College Avenue
As a leader on campus, I urge you to join the effort to strengthen suicide prevention in our community by showing up to one or both events.
I also encourage you to forward the attached flyer to students and staff. Effective suicide prevention is a community endeavor, and is made stronger with more people engaging in the work.
Thank you for your consideration.