A family healing from suicide — told by a mother and her three children with fresh, poignant art 

In this hopeful five-book set, a mother and her three children ages 5, 7 and 19 share their story after the suicide death of husband and father Don, in 2002.  Their reflections are captured in their own words and through poignant art by artist/storyteller Laurie Phillips. 

Eight years after guiding her family through the devastation of their collective loss, Rebecca 'Becky' Anderson and her children embarked on a healing journey with artist Laurie Phillips. Each family member had a unique story to tell of how the suicide impacted their life, in a book bearing their name: Becky, Pattie, Aidan and Will. The fifth book, Parenting the Suicide Survivors’ Club, is a memoir by Rebecca Anderson that gives context to the individual stories and offers the powerful perspective of a mother, wife and medical professional determined to put her broken family back together. Out of this creative collaboration between artist and suicide loss survivors came profound healing and the five -book set, Suicide Survivors’ Club: A Family’s Journey Through the Death of Their Loved One, winner of a Midwest Book Award (Autobiography/Memoir). 

In 2019, Laurie and Rebecca collaborated with mental health professionals to create Healing After a Suicide Loss: All Ages Workbook + Activity Guide for families, friends, therapists, educators, and facilitators. The questions and activities are intended to guide loss survivors as they navigate their bereavement. Therapists and facilitators can use the workbook/activity guide in conjunction with the 5-book set for individual clients or in group settings. The Helpful Resources section includes A Guide For Friends: What to Say...and What Not to Say; Safe Messaging guidelines for sharing about suicide on social media or in communities; Helpful Organizations; and Warning Signs of Suicide. 
When we all work to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide, people struggling with it will feel less isolated and can reach out for help. We believe these books help loved ones dealing with suicide to start the conversation, and move forward on their own healing  journey.

– Rebecca Anderson and Laurie Phillips 

Rebecca and Laurie are available to speak to your group about using art and storytelling to heal from grief surrounding the suicide of a loved one. Please contact Rebecca for information about scheduling a presentation or ordering book sets in volume.  

2019 Grant Awarded by the Minnesota State Arts Board
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota will work with artist Laurie Phillips and Suicide Survivor's Club to offer art narrative workshops for people who've lost a loved one to suicide.

We're honored to team up with NAMI Minnesota for this grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. We'll let you know how the workshops are going throughout the year.
–Rebecca Anderson and Laurie Phillips

Suicide Survivors' Club book set was awarded a Midwest Book Award (first place) in the Autobiography/Memoir category. Books were submitted from the 12-state region. Awards were presented by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) at their 27th annual awards gala on May 12, 2017. (left to right) Will Anderson, Laurie Phillips, Rebecca Anderson, Louise Woehrle, Shannon Cogbill, Aidan Anderson, and Jon Spayde.

“Each volume of the Suicide Survivors' Club is a rich glimpse into the inner thoughts and feelings of a given family member. Reading them is almost like sitting next to the person, listening to them relate what their journey has been like for them.”
John R. Jordan, Ph.D., Taskforce on U.S. National Guidelines for Suicide Postvention 
“As a family therapist specializing in grief, I was most impressed with the way this series captures the internal world of a particular family grieving a suicide death.”
- Janice Winchester Nadeau, PhD, LP, RN, Bereavement Specialist 

"In this artfully crafted set of books, the Anderson family has courageously shared the experience of their healing process from the trauma of the death of a loved one from suicide.  Through the use of storytelling and art, their individual stories have been organically infused with hope, while coping with their unimaginable loss."
Sue Towey, APRN, CNS, MS, Integrative Mental Health Practitioner, Retired Licensed Psychologist

“These books should help any reader to better comprehend the complexity of the process of recovery from the suicide of a loved one, that it can’t be sorted into neat boxes; much of it involves living an ordinary life that makes acres of room for grieving and healing.”
David Morris, PhD,
Licensed Psychologist
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