Group offers support for teen survivors of suicide loss

Losing a loved one is arguably the most difficult experience we’ll have to face in our lives. When we lose a loved one to suicide, though, that grief is often complicated by feelings such as guilt, stigma, and confusion. Coping with these types of feelings are difficult at any age.

silenced womanNow, imagine trying to handle these feelings as a teenager.

Teens – who often are already struggling with issues related to identity, independence, and peers – are especially vulnerable to isolation, depression, difficulties in school and risk-taking behaviors after losing a loved one to suicide.

The perceived stigma attached to suicide often leaves loved ones unable to talk about their loss with others, further increasing their isolation. As isolation increases, so does the risk for depression, unhealthy behaviors, and even suicidal thoughts.

That’s where a support group like the new Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) Support Group for Youth can help.

The SOSL Support Group for Youth connects teens who have lost a loved one to suicide with others who can relate to what they’re going through. The group offers high-schoolers a safe, nonjudgmental place where they can express their feelings, learn positive coping strategies, and realize they’re not alone.

Professionally trained facilitators and volunteers from Family & Children’s Service – a United Way of Williamson County Health partner – lead the weekly meeting, and everything shared in meetings is kept confidential.

Meetings are held each Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Brentwood Family YMCA (8207 Concord Rd., Brentwood) and is free of charge. Currently, participants must be high-school-aged to attend.

For more information, please call the 24/7 Crisis line at 615-244-7444 or email Michelle Bauer, Survivors of Suicide Loss Outreach & Support Group Facilitator Coordinator at

Dec 19, 2017 | Health

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