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Judy Battista, Survivor Outreach Program Coordinator-HV
(914) 489-7402,  

Maria Idoni, HV Area Director
(914) 417-7993,




Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Rockland, Putnam, Sullivan Counties, August 2011 - Research shows that during the course of our lifetime, more than 60 percent of us will know someone who dies by suicide and more than 20 percent of us will lose a family member.  Every suicide leaves behind family members and friends --"survivors"-- to cope with the loss.


To help, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has created the Survivor Outreach Program, which sends specially-trained volunteers who are survivors themselves to visit with those who are recently bereaved.  Visits are made upon request only, and volunteers provide information about local resources, including support groups, healing conferences and suggested reading materials. They will also listen, share their own experiences and offer reassurance that surviving suicide loss is possible.


 "When you lose a loved one to suicide, it can feel like no one really understands what you're going through.  Survivors often feel like they are alone," said Joanne Harpel, AFSP's Senior Director for Public Affairs and Post intervention. "AFSP's trained volunteer survivors have been there, so they can offer invaluable support, information and reassurance."


This program is currently offered through several AFSP chapters nationwide including, the Hudson Valley Chapter. Those interested in scheduling a visit should visit  for more information.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to helping survivors and has several other programs designed to support them including AFSP's International Survivors of Suicide Day program held the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year.  This annual program will be broadcasted on November 17, 2012 simultaneously to hundreds of conference sites across the U.S. and the world including in Dutchess, Rockland, Ulster and Orange Counties  It features a panel discussion with "experienced" survivors sharing their personal experiences after loss, plus mental health experts in the field of suicide bereavement.  For more information or to watch broadcasts from previous years in English and Spanish at anytime, please visit 

AFSP has many resources in addition to the enclosed information, so if you find that someone might need additional help in dealing with the loss, please have them contact me at (914) 489-7402 or email at


I can also mail you additional brochures, please feel free to contact me and I will make sure you receive them.


Losing a loved one to suicide takes an enormous toll on families, friends, co-workers, and entire communities. Thank you for helping us reach-out to those in need of support during a difficult time.




Judy Battista

HV-Survivor Outreach Coordinator

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


click here to view brochure:

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and to reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide.