Extend a Lifeline to Suicide Loss Survivors: How to Support the Alliance of Hope by Heather Shadur
The Alliance of Hope (AOH) provides healing, compassionate support to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. The nonprofit was founded in 2008 as a grassroots effort – by suicide loss survivors for survivors. It has become the leading online source of support for the suicide bereaved.
There are more than six million survivors of suicide loss in the U.S. alone, but historically, little attention has been paid to the need for suicide aftercare. Recent studies show that suicide loss survivors are 80 percent more likely to drop out of school or quit their job and 64 percent more likely to attempt suicide than individuals grieving sudden losses by natural causes.
Researchers are beginning to understand what many loss survivors already know: suicide "postvention" is prevention. Every day, thousands of people visit AOH's informational website seeking support after suicide. Our community forum is overseen by a mental health professional, and operates like a 24/7 support group. It is often the only support available for those who live in rural areas – and many call it their "lifeline."
Want to help suicide loss survivors get healing support? Learn more about our Extend a Lifeline campaign.