CMHA Opens Local Support Group For ‘Suicide Survivors’

A new program helping those who’ve lost a loved one to suicide is being offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

‘WHY – When Hearts Yearn’ peer support group is a closed group for survivors who’s lost a loved one to suicide – lead by trained and experienced facilitators.

Facilitator Donna McQuade – who lost her husband 19 years ago – tells Mix News suicide affects everyone differently.

“There is no judgement passed. We’ve all had experience of losing someone to suicide and as I’ve said, it doesn’t have to be immediate family. Sometimes it is but it could be a co-worker, it could be anybody.”

Each week focuses on understanding mental health, healing and hope.

McQuade says they’re trying to break down the stigma attached to suicide and mental health.

“Every group we’ve had, everybody’s thanked us at the end saying how much they got out of it, when they really thought they were coming in with no hope at all. So, we kind of call ourselves ‘hope specialists,’ because we’re giving hope back when others feel hope is lost.”

McQuade notes there are many misconceptions surrounding what defines a ‘suicide survivor.’

“This is an 8-week closed group for ‘suicide survivors’, and that term can confuse a lot of people. When people hear ‘suicide survivor’ they think that we’re the ones that attempted when, in actuality, we survived our loved one’s suicide.”

The 8-week program is set to start on September 11.

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