Nearly 7 million people take their own lives each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making suicide the tenth leading cause of death in America. Financial worries, health issues, relationship problems, addictions, psychological disorders, and other factors can make a person feel like there is no hope. A program in Hope Valley, Rhode Island, is working to give those individuals an opportunity to hold on and reach out.
Survivors of Suicide Attempts is an 8-week program run by Peer Recovery Specialist Rev. Erin Goodman and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Nancy Embleton. The program was developed by the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center in Culver City, California, and is the only one of its kind currently running in Rhode Island.
Goodman, an employee of Wood River Health Services and the Washington County Zero Suicide program, part of the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds organization, began the program via Zoom during the Covid pandemic. Now that the group is able to meet in person, they are hoping to get the word out. The group is open to adults over 18 in Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut. It is a closed group that meets once a week for an hour, and the meeting time is determined by the availability of the participants.
The program is a place for survivors to share their thoughts and feelings, learn coping skills, and form trust and friendships with others in the group. Non-clinical support is offered in addition to whatever support the participant receives from their physicians or mental health workers.
The cost of the program is billed through insurance, and there are funds available for those without medical coverage as well as funds to assist with transportation. Physicians can refer a patient to the group, and anyone can sign up for “Question, Persuade, Refer” training, offered twice a month via Zoom, free of charge.
To register for the upcoming Survivors of Suicide Attempts program, or to receive information on other programs or training sessions, email Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with questions may also email Danielle Stewart, Training Coordinator for Zero Suicide and QPR at email@example.com or Dr. Richard Harrison, Program Director for Zero Suicide at firstname.lastname@example.org.