Survivor Day is a day each year when people affected by suicide loss gather worldwide at events in their local communities to find comfort and obtain understanding as they share stories of healing and strength.
In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, who lost his father to suicide, proposed a resolution to the United States Senate, introducing and establishing International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Also known as Survivor Day, the United States Congress designated the day as a day where those afflicted by suicide can meet together for healing and support. In addition, it was arranged that Survivor Day would always fall on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving, as the holidays are frequently a difficult time for suicide loss survivors.
Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Sponsors International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a program that unites survivors of suicide loss across the world. These events encourage survivors to cope with the tragedy of losing someone to suicide.
The critical thing to remember is that International Day for People Impacted by Suicide Loss has three main goals:
(1) To EDUCATE
(2) To allow an opportunity for people to SHARE, and
(3) to SUPPORT those impacted by suicide loss to remember their loved ones meaningfully.
Suicide survivors are family members and friends who encounter the loss of a loved one due to suicide. The loss and grief in suicide seem to have unique features that distinguish it from losing a person due to other causes.
Worldwide, 800.000 suicides correspond to 7,000,000 survivors. Survivor day applies to this population. Most of the time, a great and invisible group where stigma, pain, shame mobilize individualized tools at different times, having the potential to entire damage families, in many ways, with more deaths from this situation, and surely nothing can be as it was before… The impacts on survivors, families, and society have not yet been evaluated. 
The purpose of International Survivor Day is to allow those who have lost a loved one from suicide to engage in meetings, associations, and groups, to express and share experiences to increase raising awareness and understanding of the importance of suicide mourning; creating support services, such as creating volunteer networks that will work across the country, encouraging their resilience, knowing that we live in a society where even today the subject of “suicide” acknowledged taboo.
Importance Of Survivor Day
“Survivor Day is a solemn day of reflection on the lasting impact suicide has on the loved ones left behind. It’s never the wrong time to reach out for the help you deserve.” – Said Ryan Zofay, Founder of We Level Up Development series
The person’s personality, beliefs, values, previous experiences, kind of connection with the person who committed suicide, the social network influenced the time, and the type of mourning. We were facing an unexpected loss, which leaves many questioning about “why” and what could have been done to stop suicide; which was continually repeated, binding these individuals in a cruel cycle of suffering. It is said that only a quarter of people who suffer from traumatic events seek help, and many do not come because they do not believe in immediate interventions.
Given that, this can be a powerful day of healing for those affected by suicide loss. Many survivors find a deep kinship with others who have had related experiences, thus realizing they are not alone. Finding a host site or nearby event can help you relate to survivors in your community and discover local resources for coping and healing through suicide loss. In addition, this day can allow new insights about how fellow survivors are helping to bring about the positive difference for those who have endured loss by suicide and aiding to save lives from suicide.
AFSP helps hundreds of community events worldwide on this day. Historically, event sites are individualized and highlight an AFSP-produced documentary that promotes growth, resilience, and connection. However, events for this year’s International Survivor Day will be organized uniquely, where many are offered virtually along with survivor meeting opportunities.
How To Cope When A Loved One Dies By Suicide
Suicide and suicide attempts affect the health and well-being of our friends, loved ones, co-workers, and society. For instance, when somebody dies by suicide, their surviving family and friends may feel shocked, angry, guilty, have symptoms of depression or anxiety, and may even share suicidal ideations themselves.
According to American Psychological Association , these are the advice for mourning adults and dealing with a death by suicide:
- Accept Your Emotions: You might suppose to feel grief and despair, and these feelings are normal and can vary during the healing process.
- Don’t worry about what you “should” feel or do because there’s no standard timeline for grieving.
- Care For Yourself: Do your best to get enough sleep and eat regular, healthy meals. Taking care of your physical self can elevate your mood and give you the energy to cope.
- Draw On Existing Support Systems: Allow help from those who care about you.
- Talk To Someone: There is often a stigma around suicide, and many loss survivors grieve in silence. Opening up about your feelings can help.
- Join Support Groups: Support groups can help you process your emotions alongside others undergoing related feelings.
- Above all, it could be best if you can talk to a professional. Psychologists and other mental health professionals can help you formulate and handle your feelings and discover healthy coping mechanisms.
Survivor Day Is A Reminder For You To Ask For Help
We’re encouraging you to confront stigma by sharing your mental health story or how suicide has affected you—because your suffering and pain do not need to be kept quiet.
If you recognize warning signs of suicide—especially a change in behavior or new, concerning behavior—seek help as soon as possible.
Family and friends are usually the first to discern the warning signs of suicide, and they can take the first step toward helping a loved one find mental health treatment.
If someone says that they are going to kill themselves, do not leave them alone. Do not promise that you will keep their suicidal thoughts a secret—notify a trusted friend, family member, or other trusted adult.
If you have suicidal ideations, tell your health care provider. Your health care provider will listen to your problems, help you figure out the following steps, and refer you to treatment.
Major Risk Factors For Suicide
While the link between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol abuse) is well set in high-income nations; many suicides happen impulsively in times of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses, such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
In addition, experiencing conflict, disaster, violence, abuse, or loss and a sense of isolation are heavily correlated with suicidal behavior. Among the defenseless, such as refugees and migrants, indigenous peoples; lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex individuals (LGBTIs), and convicts, the rates of suicide are also high. However, by far, the most dominant risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
Warning Signs For Suicide
- Verbalizing thoughts or feelings about desiring to end their life, or talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Showing feelings of loneliness, withdrawal from others or social isolation, seeing oneself as a burden to others, or extreme pain
- Unrest, violence, distress, or trouble in interacting
- A change in eating or sleeping habits
- Signs of cutting or self-harm
- Arranging end-of-life personal affairs, such as writing a will; and absenteeism of supportive family members or other psychosocial support
Survivor Day Reminder For Suicide Risk During Pandemic
The COVID-19 Pandemic has added to increased feelings of isolation and vulnerability to many individuals.
Any danger to the balance of the mind of a person may increase suicide risk factors. A dramatic change in lifestyle and stresses such as COVID-19 may lead to suicidal ideas and conduct. The present pandemic has increasingly drastic detrimental consequences on general mental health, including deterioration of existing issues such as contagion fear, anxiety, social isolation, and chronic stress.
There is also an increased suicide risk for individuals and their families who have incurred COVID-19 due to felt stigma. Suicide itself is considered to be a pandemic. 
Both for the frontline workers and the general public, these are unprecedented times that no amount of preparedness can account for. As mentioned before, suicide prevention by early detection of risks is the primary strategy. This is a collective responsibility irrespective of socio-economic status, occupation, or class. It is natural to be stressed during a pandemic. However, to differentiate between the ‘acceptable limits’ of panic and ‘over the edge’ psychiatric symptoms that need professional help. All sectors of society need awareness of the same.
The world stands at a difficult juncture. Mental health implications of this ongoing pandemic might peak much beyond the infection, and suicide might add to the fatality burden. However, positivism and hope, two salient markers of coping, often arise out of collectivism, optimism, and mutual support. Global strategies, collaborative research, and collective responsibility might hopefully enhance the efforts against the ‘dual pandemic’ of COVID-19 and suicide.
So, if you are concerned about yourself or someone in your family or community, reach out to them and ask, “Are you okay?” Checking in and offering broad-minded care can make a difference!
About We Level Up FL Mental Health Treatment Center
We Level Up FL is a renowned treatment behavioral health center that applies evidence-based treatment modalities and holistic programs to promote high-quality client mental health outcomes. If you need help during this year’s Survivor Day, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our counselors.
Offering cutting-edge advanced therapies, We Level Up FL is an accredited dual diagnosis mental health care provider.
Fully integrating co-occurring conditions into our programs. Most importantly, our top-notch doctors, therapists, and counselors leverage the power of science to help clients thrive in rehab recovery.
We provide best-in-class treatment in multiple locations, with amenities and activities planned to reinforce recovery success metrics. In addition, each client gets lifetime alumni support post inpatient treatment along with family resources to help sustain recovery momentum, even once they leave our treatment facilities.
Above all, our vision is to help create legions of self-empowered individuals who fully control their lives and destinies, enabling them to get what they desire from this life, experiencing it to their fullest, most liberating potential.
Through these hosts of self-empowered and self-aware individuals, we will see families that interact with more love, trust, and caring for one another, businesses that grow in ways never before thought possible, and friendships that reach new heights. Together, we can take on Survivor Day with a reliable, evidence-based treatment plan.
Who Is Ryan Zofay?
In 2019 he founded the We Level Up Development Series. We Level Up Development Series is a unique development program that provides attendees with the tools and knowledge to eliminate limiting thoughts from their lives and to reach their full potential. As Ryan Zofay explains in his February 2020 Sober Nation podcast interview, he invests in the people who he hires because with a strong team, together, they can make a difference.
Ryan Zofay is most passionate about sharing his practical lessons that change lives. As a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, he teaches development strategies that improve performance, connection, and overall mindset.
Using the teachings of his successes and tribulations, Ryan has a unique ability to facilitate significant change for individuals and organizations. In addition, Ryan’s passion and enthusiasm readily spill over to his listeners.
Moreover, his life accounts, incredible comeback journies, along with the wisdom he developed, help formulate instructions on how to realize your goals. Visit the Ryan Zofay Events page for further more details.
If you consider addiction treatment for you or someone you love, We Level Up FL can help. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a confidential consultation with a member of our intake team and more information regarding Survivor Day.
Talking about suicide and processing grief in a safe environment can be helpful in the healing process. We urge you to join or learn more about the program. To learn more about the Survivor Day event, view previous documentaries, or find a host location or chapter near you, please visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website. https://afsp.org/international-survivors-of-suicide-loss-day
 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day – International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) https://www.iasp.info/2020/11/26/november-21st-2020-international-survivors-of-suicide-loss-day/
 Coping after suicide loss – American Psychological Association / https://www.apa.org/topics/suicide/coping-after
 ‘The dual pandemic’ of suicide and COVID-19: A biopsychosocial narrative of risks and prevention – National Center for Biotechnology Information