Survivor Day

Middle TN Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is Nov. 19.

Hope and healing in the aftermath of a suicide will be the focus of Middle Tennessee’s observance of International Survivors of Suicide Loss (ISOSL) Day 2016.

The free event is slated for Saturday, Nov. 19, at Full Life Assembly of God in Franklin from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Attendees can register for International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day at https://afsp.org/survivor_day/franklin-tn/. Middle TN’s ISOSL Day activities will include a panel discussion on hope and healing after suicide, breakout groups, and a screening of AFSP’s new documentary “Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss.” Held by the Middle Tennessee chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the event is part of an international day of remembrance and healing for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

In 2015 there were 330 locally organized events held throughout the U.S., Canada, and around the world.

Healing Panel guests include Tammy Seabaugh Allen of Nashville, loss survivor; Kaitlin Maxwell of Murfreesboro, lived experience survivor; Michelle Bauer, suicide prevention program manager with the Tennessee Army National Guard; and moderator Teresa Young, a psychology post-doctoral Fellow at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

“Message In a Bottle,” an art therapy session led by Eileen Wallach of Your Heart On Art will allow survivor participants to create a “Message In a Bottle,” sealing a note to or from their lost loved one inside a decorated glass bottle.

“Participants process unresolved feelings with visual imagery instead of words, which often prove difficult to find,” explained Wallach. “This unique alternative to traditional talk therapy inspires the letting go of painful emotions, so wounded hearts can heal.”

Middle TN American Foundation of Suicide Prevention’s ISOSL Day partners are Your Heart on Art, Centerstone, Family & Children’s Service, and Full Life Assembly of God.

In 1999, Sen. Harry Reid, a survivor of his father’s 1972 suicide, introduced a resolution into the U.S. Senate. With its passage, the U.S. Congress designated the Saturday before American Thanksgiving “National Survivors of Suicide Day,” a day on which friends and family of those who have died by suicide can join together for healing and support. In recognition of the fact that suicide knows no geographic or national boundaries and because Survivor Day events are organized around the world, AFSP’s program is called “International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.”

To learn more about International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, visit survivorday.org.

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