Suicide Bereavement Support Group

Suicide Bereavement Support Group

Hope

This group is an opportunity to join individuals who have lost someone they care about to suicide.  Facilitated by a Mental Health Clinician and Peer Navigator who are experienced with both suicide bereavement and personal loss by suicide.  Each week will cover a psychoeducational component of loss by suicide as well as an opportunity for the group to share their stories in a supportive environment.

The SAS Bereavement Group is a closed, eight-week group that runs once a week on Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 8pm. The next virtual group starts in September 2024.

If you are interested in participating, please contact us to register. We ask that you plan to attend all of the eight meetings as a commitment to the group. If you know that you have a scheduling conflict please discuss with the group facilitators.

Participation in a bereavement support group can be emotional and difficult and you may find that you would benefit from individual peer support or counselling. Please let us know if you have any questions about this when you register.

The group meets virtually using Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN) or Microsoft Teams, both of which are user friendly. Research has shown that support groups after suicide loss have many benefits and you may be surprised at how warm, welcoming and supportive a virtual group can be. The groups are small and private, so you will feel truly seen and heard.

A short intake conversation is required before registering. If you haven't had an intake conversation with a facilitator from Support After Suicide then please email us at sas@cmhaww.ca or call 1-844-264-2993 extension 7951.

For more detailed information about our groups and facilitators, and to determine if the Support After Suicide group feels like a good fit for you, please read our FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Every group is facilitated by the Support After Suicide team, Sukhi Brar, Mental Health Clinician and Jane Brown, Peer Navigator. We provide grief support to people in the community impacted by suicide loss and we bring lived experience of suicide loss to our work. We understand that your experience of loss is unique and appreciate the pain, questions and complexity of losing someone to suicide.

We are also skilled professionals with experience in grief support and facilitation who bring extensive knowledge of suicide and suicide bereavement. As a team, we bring compassion and empathy to hold space for your experience, as well as expertise.

Between 6-12 people.

Our bereavement groups are “closed,” which means the same group of people stay together for the eight-week group, which helps to foster an experience of connection and community. Members often develop ongoing connections and stay in touch outside of meetings.

Confidentiality first and foremost. For group participants to feel emotionally safe, everyone needs to trust that what they share will be kept confidential and that everyone will be respectful of one another’s privacy.

Not necessarily - most people tend to join between about two months and four years from their loss, but each person is unique.

We have had people join group with a newer loss and some with loss that is many years in the past. They are able to support and learn from one another. Take a moment to reflect on the following: Am I ready to talk about my loss? Will I be comfortable sharing airtime with other group members? How will it feel to hear other people’s stories? If you are unsure, discuss with one of the facilitators during intake.

Sharing personal, vulnerable thoughts and feelings in a group setting is not always easy. We want to connect with you to answer any questions you might have, and explore whether the timing feels right for you to share your experience and, importantly, be present to other people sharing theirs.

It is common with any group that you may feel unsure or uncomfortable after the first meeting. Opening up about your loss can be especially hard for some at first but it gets easier as you go and the group is designed to give you time to settle in. Some participants find that they worry about fitting in. We encourage you to recognize that this discomfort is all normal, lean into it and come back anyway. The facilitators are available if you need to talk it through. Trust the process because everyone in the group is in a similar situation. Your commitment to one another is critical to creating the trust that makes a group experience most beneficial for everyone.

While the goal is for everyone to attend every meeting in the eight-week group, we recognize that life is complicated and you may need to miss a meeting. Please communicate with the facilitators any scheduling issues as soon as possible.

Up to two members of the same family can be in a group together but we encourage you to consider how important it is for people who are grieving the same loss to have their own separate, safe space to share their thoughts and feelings.

No, there is no cost to the group.

Typically, the group is interested in continuing to meet as a peer support group. Support After Suicide also offers one off sessions around specific topics like, “Coping With the Holidays After Suicide Loss.” Grief and mourning are part of a continuous and evolving journey and some people find that they want to attend a group again at another part of their journey.

The focus of the Support After Suicide Bereavement Groups is grief after losing someone to suicide. If you are looking for support specific to, and after, a suicide attempt, we recommend that you call Here 24/7 1-844-437-3247 to inquire about “Skills For Safer Living” groups. We wish you all the best in your healing.

Photo of Kim CampbellKim Campbell - Kim is the Mental Health Clinician on the team and is a Registered Psychotherapist (CRPO) and member of The Canadian Association for Marriage and
Family Therapy (CAMFT).
 
 


Photo of Jane BrownJane Brown – Jane is the Peer Navigator and brings lived experience with loss of loved ones to suicide. Jane understands why loss by suicide can be more complicated than other deaths. She walks alongside those she supports as they discover how to live without their loved one. Jane says, "I don't know how they feel but I do know how I felt after my loved ones took their own lives." Jane supports individuals to focus on hope and finding a place in their life for the memory of their loved one.

Please email sas@cmhaww.ca to register