On International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Remind Survivors of Available Resources

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, Saturday, November 23, is an occasion for survivors to join together for healing and support through their shared experience. Originally designated in 1999, the weekend before Thanksgiving is always recognized as Survivor Day since the holidays can be a difficult time of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) coordinates over 300 events in the United States and worldwide, recognizing that this issue affects people from all walks of life. This year two events will be held in Arizona–in Tempe and Sierra Vista. While each event is different, all will feature a short AFSP documentary that shows families navigating the loss of a parent, child, sibling, or friend, in all different stages of grief. Regardless of one’s place in healing, Survivor Day aims to connect people to a network of communities that understand grief through shared experiences.

This year’s documentary is titled Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss, and follows a community’s healing journey following the loss of a son, brother, and friend: Chris Taddeo. Watch the trailer here

On Survivor Day, take time to recognize your own strength and the strength of those around you. Recognize those that have been in ultimate despair and managed to carry on; recognize those that are finding their own path to their new normal. If you need help, seek it. If you want to talk about your loss, talk about it freely. 

Register to attend an event or see past documentaries

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American Indians are more susceptible to suicide than national average

American Indians have a higher risk of dying by suicide. Arizona is home to 22 tribal nations. Suicide is preventable.

Suicide is preventable. Those American Indians considering dying by suicide may demonstrate one of the following behaviors:

  • An increase in substance use
  • A change in sleeping pattern
  • Giving away possessions, including pets
  • Depression and withdrawal from social obligations
  • Discussing dying by suicide

If someone in your life is dealing with loss, or exhibiting one of the symptoms above, there are resources available.  We can all work to prevent suicide.

What you can do:

  • Know the cultural risk factors for suicide among American Indians, and how to refer a person to care.
  •  Consider making a safety plan for if/when you feel depressed or suicidal. A protective factor for suicide includes having a strong support network. Knowing who to call when you feel depressed or suicidal can help in crisis.
  • Practice active listening; listening to someone who is depressed or having suicidal thoughts, without offering advice or judgment, is courageous.
  • Advocate for the importance of suicide surveillance systems, including building relationships with respected community members.
  • Speak with tribal councils, school boards, and other community leaders about the need for suicide prevention resources.
  • If someone in your life is considering dying by suicide, do not leave this person alone. Remove any firearms or unnecessary prescription medications from the home. When in doubt, call 9-11.

If someone in your life is considering dying by suicide, do not leave this person alone. Remove any firearms or unnecessary prescription medications from the home. When in doubt, call 9-11.

For additional resources, visit AHCCCS.

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Veteran? Be Connected.

Those who served in the military, and their families, have a higher risk of dying by suicide. 

Suicide is preventable. Those considering dying by suicide may demonstrate one of the following behaviors:

  • An increase in substance use
  • A change in sleeping pattern
  • Giving away possessions, including pets
  • Depression and withdrawal from social obligations
  • Discussing dying by suicide

Those who served in the military, and their family members, may consider suicide after service. If you have a veteran in your life who is dealing with loss, or exhibiting one of the symptoms above, there are resources available.

Be Connected links those who served in the military, and their families, with resources—including suicide prevention information with a 24-hour helpline: 1-866-4AZ-VETS. Navigators work with those who have served and their families to understand concerns and guide them to the appropriate resource.

If someone in your life is considering dying by suicide, do not leave this person alone. Remove any firearms or unnecessary prescription medications from the home. When in doubt, call 9-11.

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