Rebecca Anderson is the co-founder and owner of Suicide Survivors’ Club (SSC), a public speaker, suicide loss survivor and the author of Parenting the Suicide Survivors’ Club, one of 5 books in the set titled Suicide Survivors’ Club – A Family’s Journey Through the Death of Their Loved One. The book set was awarded a first-place Midwest Book Award by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (2017).
Rebecca is also a mother and a medical professional with a BS in Public Health/Sociology, LPN, and LCSW. She lost her husband, Don, an artist, to suicide in 2002. In memory of Don, and as part of her healing process, she produced an art book entitled Intimate Immensities (2008) highlighting his sculptural works.
Her primary job and focus after her husband's death was healing her family - seeking out practitioners and therapy methods for herself and her three children. Since co-founding SSC, LLC in 2015, she has presented locally and nationally to various audiences on the subject of healing after the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide and using art and narrative as a way to talk about this difficult subject matter. Audiences include suicide loss survivors, mental health professionals, nursing students, medical professionals, and community organizations.
Rebecca is proud of how SSC has grown and continues to grow — mending hearts and restoring the lives of suicide loss survivors through the power of art and storytelling.
Laurie Phillips, co-founder of SSC is an artist and the visionary behind the Suicide Survivors' Club book series, created in collaboration with Rebecca Anderson and her children Pattie, Aidan and Will. Her work is also represented in the Story Portrait™ workshop, workbook/activity guide, and the professional workshop. She has a BA in fine arts and is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach, trainer and entrepreneur. She lost her cousin to suicide. Phillips has had a successful career as a public artist since 1992, winning many grants and commissions. Art and healing are synonymous for her. Although Laurie no longer plays an active role in SSC, her stunning work lives on in the book series, workbook and workshops.
Laurie pioneered a method in 2004 for indoor spaces called Story Graph Portraits, combining photographic images with written narrative fragments excerpted from the subjects' interviews. Pieces of the story are arranged to graph the subject’s shifting emotions, from high/ecstatic to low/desperate. She adds redrawn graphic icons to underline and universalize these emotions. This method was the inspiration for the SSC book project. In addition to her work as an artist, she has worked as a stress relief coach in hospitals and other medical facilities, using EFT Meridian Tapping. She also runs a dynamic interactive experiential workshop in art museums called Museum Sage.
Aidan Anderson is a suicide loss survivor and public speaker. He has a certificate from NAMI Minnesota's Connect Survivor Voices Curriculum. The book Aidan in the Suicide Survivors Club book set represents his story as a teen looking back on his life after his dad died by suicide in 2002. Since high school, Aidan worked for two years in sales at a family owned pet store. He attended Augsburg College in 2016 with his sights on music business degree. He has since taken a break from school to work full time in the food industry. He enjoys speaking at presentations and believes his voice as a suicide loss survivor can offer hope to others. Aidan has a passion for music, comic books and learning. He remains close to his family and friends, and loves life with his wife and best friend Shannon.
William "Will" Anderson is the youngest of three children and a suicide loss survivor. He recently graduated from Hamline University with a degree in Anthropology and Archeology. He served as the student liaison for the Mayan Society of Minnesota, a member of the student-run Anthropological Society, and he'sa member of the American Anthropological Association. Will finds it meaningful to speak at Suicide Survivors' Club events. In his free time, he enjoys reading and sketching, as well as spending time with friends, family, and peers.
Pattie (Anderson) Larson, the eldest child in the Anderson family, is living in Omaha with her husband and a menagerie of pets who keep her life active and exciting. They moved from Minnesota after Pattie completed a three month internship at the Henry Doorley Zoo and enjoyed Omaha so much that she and her husband made it their new home. She has worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for almost a decade in the Omaha area, in emergency, referral, and general veterinary medicine. Most recently Pattie completed her Bachelor’s degree at Creighton University, graduating cum laude in Organizational Leadership. She is looking forward to the next big step in her career while continuing to give back to her community by volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Nebraska Wildlife Rehabilitation, and giving talks about animal husbandry and veterinary medicine to local scout groups and pre-veterinary programs. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and going on adventures with her husband and dogs.
Louise Woehrle - Consultant is a passionate storyteller whose mission is to shine a light on stories that need to be told with the hope they will promote healing and serve as catalysts for change. She is a multi-award-winning filmmaker, creative consultant, and the owner of Whirlygig Productions, Inc.
Her expertise is looking at projects holistically, working collaboratively and bringing a vision to light. Louise has served as a consultant for several book projects, including the Best-Seller Forever Ours by Janice Amatuzio, MD. She has also worked to develop educational tools for various organizations.
Louise has the privilege to work as a consultant with Suicide Survivors’ Club since 2014, soon after the original handmade books were completed. She is an integral part of the SSC team. Her roles have been multifaceted and include, guiding the SSC infrastructure and development, communications expert, content writer, business strategist, the lead role in publishing the Suicide Survivors’ Club book series, fundraiser, development of SSC programming, educational tools, workshops, and outreach. To learn more about her work: whirlygigproductions.com
Carol Allesee - Art Facilitator has over 25 years of experience in designing and implementing expressive arts programming for children and their families who are faced with illness and grief. As the Arts Coordinator at Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis-St. Paul since 2011, she coordinates the Arts and Healing Initiative program for patients and families. Carol has worked in both the public and private school systems, as well as many nonprofit agencies that serve children and families in the twin cities area. She has a B.A. in Communications from Indiana University.