A six-week Survivors of Suicide support group will start on Thursday, March 7 in Damariscotta.
The group is open to those who have lost a loved one to suicide and wish to meet in a supportive, open environment to explore their loss, building community through a shared experience.
“The loss of a loved one by suicide results in a grief experience that is unique and often consuming,” said Lisa Beth Hammer, who facilitates the group. “Family members often feel isolated and uncertain how and with whom to talk about their grief. Suicide loss can result in complex emotions that can be intense and long-term. Whether you have survived a suicide loss recently or years ago, this support group is a place where you will find understanding and hope, strength and comfort, and a sense of community.”
The support group was started by the Hope & Resiliency Coalition, a group of concerned and committed community members who gather regularly out of concern for those struggling with hopelessness, mental health challenges, and suicide loss.
Since forming in 2016, regular Survivors of Suicide support groups have been offered three times a year in the 6-week session format. The Survivors of Suicide groups have taken place in Lincoln County and the group has hosted awareness-raising and training events on these topics, mostly in the Boothbay region.
Most recently, community members came together on Monday, Feb. 4 to learn more about suicide prevention and how to help those at risk. Greg Marley, clinical director of NAMI Maine, led the conversation.
Hammer, who has a private psychotherapy practice in Damariscotta and who specializes in complex grief and loss, facilitates the 6-week Survivors of Suicide support group. Her grief facilitation training started at the Portland Center for Grieving Children in 2015 and continued by facilitating numerous grief support groups in the state, including starting a bereavement group at the Maine State Prison.
The SOS support group is free of charge to participants thanks to a sponsorship from LincolnHealth’s Coulombe Center for Health Improvement. It is a closed session group and preregistration is required. The facilitator does ask that those who are interested in joining the group make an effort to attend all six meetings in this session.
To register, or for more information, call Hammer at 978-853-1950.