Survivors of Suicide Loss Day: Our Reflections

On this rainy Saturday morning, we attended the 2016 Survivors of Suicide Loss Day hosted by the UCSF Depression Center and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Following speeches by prominent UCSF faculty, Ben Chon, from Subconscious (!), shared a sentimental story about his sister’s struggle with suicide. He spoke about how fortunate he felt that she reached out to him in that critical moment. With that opportunity, he was able to calm her down, making her promise to wait for his return to LA.

I’m thankful everyday that my sister is okay. I can’t begin to imagine the pain everyone else here must feel. What I can imagine, though, is how easy it must be to blame yourself.

Next, there was a screening of Reclaiming Life After Loss, a documentary of the different healing processes following the loss of a loved one. The quality and honesty of this film blew us away. Following the lives of ten individuals, we are made aware of the spectrum of reactions, coping mechanisms, and paths to healing. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which path you choose, as long as it’s the right one for you. Check out all the Survivor Day documentaries here.

After the screening, the audience separated into breakout groups to discuss surviving suicide loss. Our hearts went out to a young girl mourning the loss of her 17 year-old brother, who had passed a month prior. Individuals found support from the group as raw emotions filled the room with each person’s story. If you’ve lost a loved one, resources are available.

Missed the event, but want to learn more? Watch the live stream below, and remember to mark your calendars for the 2017 Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

This post was written by Cathy Liu. Please contact with any questions.