chapter  34
A Call to Action: Building Clinical and Programmatic Support for Suicide Survivors
WithJohn R. Jordan, John L. McIntosh, Iris M. Bolton, Frank R. Campbell, Joanne L. Harpel, Michelle Linn-Gust
Pages 12

Historically, the stigma associated with suicide has been transferred to the families of the deceased (Colt, 2006), along with the social isolation that accompanies most disenfranchised grief. However, a change is happening around the world. To borrow the phrase used by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as suicide has begun to emerge from “out of the darkness,” so too have those who are grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide begun to speak up, insisting on acceptance, support, and action from their communities. Thus, the worldwide effort to recognize suicide prevention as a public health goal has had salutatory effects on suicide survivors as well. Moreover, the political support to facilitate this process appears to be expanding. In this chapter, we briefl y review the progress that has been made in the last decade in building societal change and support infrastructure for survivors. We then enumerate

several goals for this “survivor movement” going forward over the next 10 years, and propose specifi c programmatic steps that we believe will continue this remarkable process of social change.