Losing a loved one to suicide can be one of the most traumatic and painful experiences of our lives.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vernon & District Branch will be hosting a free eight-week support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“After a traumatic event it’s normal to have a range of experiences, from feelings of anger, depression and loneliness, to physical symptoms like headaches or an upset stomach,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director, CMHA Vernon & District Branch.

“When we lose someone to suicide, grief can be even more complicated and intense. While everybody reacts uniquely, we all need to know that there is help and we are not alone. After losing someone, everyone needs to be treated with compassion and have their experiences respected,” said Payson.

Every Wednesday from March 20 to May 8, CMHA Vernon will facilitate the support group from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The group provides an opportunity to discuss and share feelings and experiences related to the loss of a loved one, including the impact of guilt, anger and regret, coping as a family, building a support network, honouring the memory of a loved one, and coping with birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

Suicide loss support groups are facilitated by CMHA staff and volunteers who have received specialized training in suicide grief support. The groups also include a support worker to assist individuals during group sessions who may require one-on-one support.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. For more information or to register, contact Paula at 250-542-3114 ext. 236 or [email protected].

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