Survivors of suicide resources

This page contains resources for people that have lost a loved one to suicide, or school or a community struggling to cope with a suicide loss. These are some of the many resources available designed to help survivors of suicide loss address their challenging practical and emotional needs.

Table of Contents

Metro Boston

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
(AFSP) - Greater Boston Chapter
1-800-979-AFSP (2377)
StadJVanderStad@afsp.org
www.afsp.org

Survivor Outreach Program

Through AFSP's Survivor Outreach Program, trained local volunteers are on hand to meet with newly-bereaved survivors and their families, listen with compassion and offer reassurance that surviving a suicide loss is possible, recommend helpful things to read, provide information about support groups and other local resources.

National Survivors of Suicide Day

Each year in November, over 250 simultaneous conferences for survivors of suicide loss take place throughout the U.S. and around the world. This unique network of healing conferences helps survivors connect with others who have survived the tragedy of suicide loss, and provides an opportunity for them to express and share their experience.

  • Samaritans, Inc.
    With locations in Boston and Framingham
    41 West St. 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111
    Business line: (617) 536-2460
    Samaritan’s Statewide Toll Free Line: 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)
    Samarateens: 1-800-252-8336
    24 hrs. Helplines: (617) 247-0220 or (508) 875-4500
    www.samaritanshope.org

Grief Support Services

Safe Place is an open group of caring people who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide. SafePlace is not a professional therapy group; rather it is peer support. SafePlace provides an atmosphere of acceptance for exploring feelings that are often not understood by others. It offers a chance to share helpful resources, and to give and get support through the long grief process.
Meetings are held twice a month in Boston, Medford, Quincy, South Boston, Framingham and Worcester.

Meeting information can be found on the website: www.samaritanshope.org.

The Survivor to Survivor Network is a program in which trained volunteers who have lost a loved one to suicide are available to visit those who are experiencing a new loss to listen, to talk and to provide support and resources. Volunteers who have had time to regain their strength and balance after a suicide loss are carefully screened and trained by Samaritans to offer trustworthy support to those who most need it. They visit in pairs, offering emotional strength and practical information.

Interested in more information? Contact the Director of Grief Support Services at: safeplace@samaritanshope.org.

  • The Good Grief Program
    Boston Medical Center
    91 East Concord Street
    Boston, MA 02118
    Phone: (617) 414-4005
    Contact: www.bmc.org/programs/good-grief-program#contact-information
    www.bmc.org/programs/good-grief-program
    Based on the premise that with crisis comes an opportunity to develop, strengthen and master coping skills, our mission is to train adult professionals, support families and children so that they may become resilient in the face of loss. We can help in a number of ways. Please call us to find out more about our program.
  • The Children’s Room
    1210 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington 02476.
    Tel. (781) 641-4741
    www.childrensroom.org
    info@childrensroom.org
    The Children’s Room helps grieving children, teens and families to go on living fully. They serve families from over 75 cities and towns in Massachusetts. They provide education for teachers, counselors, youth workers and other professionals about how children and teens grieve.

Southeast

  • Samaritans of Fall River/New Bedford
    PO Box 1333
    627 State Road
    Westport, MA 02790
    Business Line: (508) 673-3777
    Toll free: (866) 508-4357
    Statewide Toll free: (877) 870-HOPE (4673)
    www.samaritans-fallriver.org

Safe Place is a peer support group of caring people who have experienced, and are still experiencing, the pain of a suicide. It provides an atmosphere of acceptance for exploring all the emotion and feelings that are often not understood by others. Safe Place offers a chance to share helpful resources, and to give and get support through the long grief process.

Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Cape Cod

  • The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, Inc.
    P.O. Box 65, Falmouth, MA 02541
    E-mail Address: ccsamaritans@verizon.net
    Web Address: www.capesamaritans.org
    Crisis Lines:
    (508) 548-8900
    1-800-893-9900 (Toll Free)
    Statewide Toll-Free Number:
    (877) 870-HOPE (4673)
    Business Office:
    (508) 548-7999

Safe Place is a support group for those who have lost someone to suicide. The facilitators of this group are Samaritan trained and are suicide survivors themselves. Safe Place is a place for dealing with a unique grief that is often not understood by others. It honors and respects the need of those who have lost someone to suicide, it provides unconditional emotional support and it helps survivors gain strength and courage from one another. It is confidential, ongoing, and free to participants.

Ongoing Safe Harbor Support Group on Nantucket and Safe Place Support Groups at Falmouth Hospital and Hyannis Youth and Community Center. Call (508) 548-7999 for details.

Western Massachusetts

  • Forastiere Family Funeral Home
    220 North Main Street
    East Longmeadow, MA 01028
    Contact: Mary Pat McMahon
    Phone: (413) 734-9139
    Peer-led support groups mainly for survivors of suicide, operating free of charge, meet twice monthly, on the first and third Mondays of the month from 6:45 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Hospice Care in the Berkshires
    877 South Street, Suite 1W
    Pittsfield, MA 01201
    Phone: (413) 443-2994
    Fax: (413) 443-7814
    www.hcib.org
    Various support groups are available with professional leadership at no cost. The types of bereavement groups and the number of meetings per month vary according to need. Groups are available for the loss of spouses, children and more. One-on-one sessions are also available. Please call or visit our website for more information.
  • No More Silence Massachusetts
    2 Elizabeth Street
    West Springfield, MA 01089
    Contact name: Terri Tracy
    Phone: (413) 218-5883
    Email: nomoresilencemassachusetts@gmail.com
    Meetings last Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. We are a peer led support group for all suicide loss survivors. Meetings will have people in all stages of their loss.
  • The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens
    168 Industrial Drive, #1
    Northampton, MA 01060
    Phone: (413) 727 5749
    SLENN@cooleydickinson.org
    www.vnaandhospice.org
    www.cooleydickinson.org/programs-services/vna-hospice/the-garden
    To learn more about The Garden, contact Shelly Bathe Lenn at The Garden at (413) 727 5749 or email us: SLENN@cooleydickinson.org
    The Garden c/o Shelly Bathe Lenn
    168 Industrial Rd.
    Northampton, MA 01060
    The Garden provides support to grieving young people ages 5-18 years, and their families following the death of someone close. There are no limits on how, where, or when the death occurred. Grieving families participate in small groups on Sunday afternoons and can join a program in the fall or spring.
    The Garden also partners with area schools to support grieving students and staff. All programming is free of charge, but it is not a free program to run. We rely 100% on donations from individuals, and businesses.

     

  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    Healing after Suicide Loss
    (In-person and on zoom)
    Please contact us before attending: suicideloss@berkshirecoalition.org
    Contact:
    Bertha Connelley
    (413) 626-0030
    In-person Meeting Location:
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    175 Wendell Ave
    Pittsfield, MA 01201
    Meeting Day(s)/Meeting Time:
    FIRST Tuesday of every month,
    6:00-7:30pm
    Facilitator: Peer
    Fee: None
    Zoom Meeting:
    Contact for details-suicideloss@berkshirecoalition.org
    Meeting Day(s)/Meeting Time:
    THIRD Tuesday of every month,
    6-7:30pm
    Facilitator: Peer
    Fee: None

Northeast

  • Family Services of the Merrimack Valley
    A program of Family Service, Inc.
    430 North Canal Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
    Business Line: (978) 327-6670
    Confidential Crisis Hotline:
    1-866-912-HOPE (toll free)
    OR (978) 327-6607
    Teen Help Line:
    (978) 688-8336 (TEEN)
    Samaritans Statewide Help Line:
    1-877-870-4673 (HOPE)
    www.fsmv.org
    Email to: info@fsmv.org
    Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, a program of Family Service, Inc, offers the following suicide survivor services:

Safe Place Support Group for Adults

Safe Place is a suicide survivor support group for adults (over 18) who have lost a loved one to suicide. Safe Place is a place for individuals to grieve, share difficulties and feelings, and find support from others who are grieving in the wake of a suicide death. Meetings are facilitated by a peer suicide survivor and are confidential and free.

Safe Place meets at two locations twice each month:

  • in North Andover on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 7–8:30 p.m. at Saint Michael Parish at 196 Main Street.
  • in Beverly on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 7–8:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 705 Hale Street.

Statewide

AFSP is a leading national not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

National

  • The Compassionate Friends
    PO Box 3696
    Oak Brook, Illinois 60522
    Toll free number: 1-877-969-0010
    www.compassionatefriends.org
    Compassionate Friends is a non-profit, self-help support organization with chapters in Massachusetts offering understanding and friendship to grieving families following the death of a child of any age from any cause. Contact TCF’s National Office at 877-969-0010 or email nationaloffice@compassionatefriends.org. They will provide a customized packet of bereavement materials and provide contact information to the nearest TCF chapter, one where the parents, siblings, and grandparents can gather with others who understand, because they, too, are mourning the death of a child.
  • SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide
    Written by Jeffrey Jackson
    The handbook is written by a suicide survivor and can be downloaded free of charge from the
    American Association of Suicidology at www.suicidology.org
  • Reaching Out After Suicide: What’s Helpful and What’s Not
    Linda H. Kilburn, M.S.W. Available from KP Associates, LLC, KPAMASS@aol.com, 2008. The author, a clinical hospice social worker and survivor of her daughter’s suicide, offers practical advice for well-meaning friends and family who want to reach out and be supportive after a suicide, but aren’t sure what to do or say.
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