To end the stigma of loss by suicide through integrative art/narrative tools that support loss survivors to seek help, speak their truth, and process their grief with the hope they will heal and restore their lives.
In 2002 the Anderson Family lost their father to suicide. The children were 19, 5, and 7. In 2007, Becky, their mother, and her good friend Laurie Philips embarked on a journey that would eventually become The Suicide Survivors' Club. The Suicide Survivors' Club project is a set of five books and an accompanying workbook. The first book is a memoir written by mom, Becky, titled Parenting the Suicide Survivors' Club, about the profound loss, grief, and sadness that accompanied losing her children’s father and her husband's, sudden and wrenching death, and the slow process of getting back to some kind of normalcy after.
The other four books, titled Becky, Pattie, Aidan, and Will, are glimpses into each of the kids’ memories, and beautifully illustrated by Laurie Philips. Laurie redrew images that we picked out with her non-dominant hand to convey the feeling of raw emotion.
In addition to writing the books, Becky and Aidan and a professional art therapist, also give presentations about their experiences with the death of such an important person in their lives and how they managed to come back from it. They also provide an art workshop that they call a Story Portrait Workshop.
Suicide Survivors' Club was honored to receive a 1st place Midwest Book Award (2017) for
memoir/autobiography by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA), and reviewed as a valuable resource by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), leading national organizations serving suicide loss survivors and suicide prevention. We are a proud partner of National Alliance On Mental Illness Minnesota who also serves as our fiscal sponsor.
ACCOLADES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2017 - Books reviewed and recommended as resources by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) click here to read reviews
2017 - Won 1st place Midwest Book Award for memoir/biography by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association (12-state region)
2018 - NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance On Mental Illness) became our fiscal sponsor qualifying us for tax deductible status as a partner program
2018 - Developed the Healing After Suicide Loss: All Ages Workbook + Activity Guide to accompany the book set
2019 - Awarded the highest level Minnesota State Arts Board Grant in partnership with NAMI Minnesota to further develop our Story Portrait™ workshop for Suicide Loss Survivors and our professional workshop Trauma Transformed Through Art and Narrative for mental health, medical practitioners, bereavement specialists and first responders. CEUs provided
“These beautiful books speak directly from their hearts to the souls of other suicide survivors, showing that it is not only possible to survive a loved one's suicide, but also to find beauty in their shortened lives and to thrive after they are gone.”
Henry Emmons, MD,
author of The Chemistry of Calm and The Chemistry of Joy
“Every suicide loss survivor faces a lonely unimaginable difficult journey. These books help them know they are not alone and offer hope.”
Sue Abderholden, MPH,
Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Minnesota
"These books provide an integrated approach for healing and speak to what I call a revolution in the mental health world, a revolution that we all hope will save lives. ”
Noel R. Larson, PhD.,