Survivor Voices: Sharing the Story of Suicide Loss


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


NAMI-NH/The Connect Program

Two-day training for up to eight participants with materials and four hours of consultation costs $3,600 plus travel expenses. The training includes a manual for each participant.

Training of trainers is available. Please contact Anne Rugg for pricing and specifics


Survivor Voices: Sharing the Story of Suicide Loss is a two-day training designed to teach those bereaved by suicide how to speak safely and effectively about their experience and loss. Through the sharing of personal stories, survivors of suicide loss provide insight that goes beyond traditional suicide prevention training. These insights can promote healing for those who are newly bereaved, educate the public about how to support survivors of suicide loss, and increase awareness and understanding of risk factors and warning signs for suicide.

The training prepares each participant to tell his or her story safely and effectively to various audiences, enhances public speaking skills and the ability to respond safely to audience and media questions, and provides education about suicide prevention and resources for survivors of suicide loss. The process of sharing stories and messages is very personal and intense, and the training encourages and promotes mutual support and healing among participants. The small group size is intended to allow time for sharing and caring.

Developed by NAMI New Hampshire, Survivor Voices: Sharing the Story of Suicide Loss combines key aspects of NAMI training; information from the Connect Suicide Prevention and Postvention Training Programs; and knowledge gained through a long history of working with survivors of suicide loss. Specific best practices and guidelines found in the training include information on safe messaging, media recommendations for reporting on suicide, and memorial guidelines. Participant feedback collected since 2008 has guided revisions of the training.

Program Objectives

Survivors of suicide loss who complete the two-day training will have:

  1. Greater knowledge of how to safely and effectively tell one’s story of loss publicly.
  2. Greater ability to hone one’s message for a general or specific audience.
  3. Greater ability to safely respond to questions from audience members or media.
  4. Greater ability to familiarize others with suicide prevention resources and resources for survivors of suicide loss.
  5. Greater comfort with telling one’s story after having practiced it in a safe environment.
  6. Greater ability to connect survivors of suicide loss to each other and to resources.

Implementation Essentials

Survivor Voices: Sharing the Story of Suicide Loss participants should be screened to ensure they are emotionally ready to tell their story without having a setback in their own healing.

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 10.1: Develop guidelines for effective comprehensive support programs for individuals bereaved by suicide and promote the full implementation of these guidelines at the state/territorial, tribal, and community levels.