A new suicide support group is for anyone who has been touched by suicide loss recently or long ago who wants to work through their grief in a safe, respectful environment is now meeting monthly.

According to a statement announcing the group’s formation, it’s purpose is:

• Help survivors feel less isolated

• Provide reassurance that healing is possible

• Offer validation that grief is expected and acceptable

• Provide an opportunity for survivors to talk openly with other survivors

• Create a space for survivors to learn from each other

Joanna Cole and Maria Grindle are founding the group and will serve as facilitators.

Cole is an experienced facilitator from New Directions, Depression Support Groups, trained by DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Joanna is a retired chemistry and biology teacher, and VT NAMI teacher, also a retired legislator. Joanna is a survivor mom of a son who died by suicide.

Grindle recently received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has 5 years of experience facilitating groups with NAMI. Maria trains new support group facilitators for NAMI. Maria interned at the Howard Center adult outpatient client and adult developmental services.

Recently both Cole and Grindle traveled to Cleveland, Ohio where they took the helpful AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) Adult Survivor of Suicide Loss Training.

To join the group, contact either Joanna at joanna.colevt@gmail.com, (802)777-5244 or Maria at mariagrindle@msn.com, (802)879-9576.

The group will meet every 3rd Thursday of the month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The location will be provided when speaking with Cole or Grindle.