From Grief to Growth: Rebuilding a Life of Flourishing After Suicide Loss
post-traumatic stess disorder
survivors of suicide loss
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and second leading cause of death for persons aged 10–34. This population, known as suicide survivors, needs special support as they are often socially isolated and stigmatized, and likely to experience post-traumatic stress symptoms that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) was founded in 1981 to meet the unique needs of the suicide survivor community, evolving from a single support group into an organization now serving the greater San Diego area. However, the programs of suicide support and prevention that SOSL facilitates do not address post-traumatic growth (PTG), the positive psychological changes experienced as a result of adversity and challenge. We recommend a facilitator training program called Grief to Growth that will enable SOSL staff and volunteers to teach participants concepts, skills and interventions that will encourage flourishing through four components of PTG: personal strengths, relationships, meaning and an appreciation for life, and new possibilities. We believe that a 10-module program addressing these PTG factors will encourage personal growth toward greater flourishing in participants. We suggest measuring results through administering the PTGI scale before and after program participation.