When and why it was created
This year, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is Saturday, 20th November 2021 (annually falling on the Saturday before Thanksgiving). The International Survivors of Suicide Loss day first came into motion in 1999 when Senator Harry Reid (a victim of losing his father to suicide as well) introduced the resolution to the Senate of United States at the time, leading to the creation of ISOSLD. This day is known as the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day and the main purpose it serves is to help survivors who have dealt with the aftermath of losing someone to suicide, by connecting them to people with shared experiences.
How it helps
The International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day has been declared as a day of healing, throughout the globe. Since this program was introduced in order to help the survivors cope up with the tragedy of losing their loved ones to suicide, it does this by bringing together individuals that went through a similar experience, and also by providing them with a safe haven in which they could talk about their post-trauma symptoms, and aid each other through support, encouragement, and hope.
The impact of losing someone to suicide tends to trigger feelings of anger, guilt, shame, and confusion. All of these being a part of an individual’s grievance process. People who witness a suicide in their life, experience deep shock and an amalgamation of conflicting emotions constantly struggling to come to terms with the nature of their death. The anger for instance may arise from your loved one leaving you, whereas the guilt may be from the idea that you may have not done enough to prevent this from happening-leading to intrusive feelings of shame and devastation. However, time is said to heal the deepest of wounds and teaches you how to come to terms with your loss, resolve your losses and gain even some level of acceptance in your life. This is what the ISOSLD is for.
Losing someone through the means of suicide tends to create an unfortunate void in your surrounding. Therefore, The International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is meant to act as a means to fill this empty void by helping individuals to form external connections and introduce highly educational programs. These programs are mainly designed to educate and inform the larger public about suicide, its prevention, and the impact it leaves on an individual’s surroundings.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers practices such as Talk saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention. These practices are supposed to provide a general understanding of suicide, including its scope, and what can be done in order to prevent it. While all events organized by the AFSP for The Suicide Loss Day are unique, each of these programs consistently offers them new opportunities for growth, resilience, and connection while leaving them empowered.