Support group helps bereaved confront special challenges caused from loss by suicide

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Help is available for those who have lost someone to suicide.

The LOSS (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) program sponsored by Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Joliet is a non-denominational self-help support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

A local group is expected to begin meeting in September at the Catholic Charities office at 270 N. Schuyler Avenue in Kankakee. Open meetings are currently being held from 7 to 9 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church at 18 N. Woodlawn in Joliet.

Individual and family counseling also is available to residents of Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford counties through the Catholic Charities office in Kankakee.

Although they share many of the same challenges, loosing a loved one to suicide differs considerably from loosing someone to natural causes or accidents, said Frank Laule, director of Catholic Charities’ Counseling and Addiction Services. “There’s a lot of self-recrimination and guilt. They often wonder why they didn’t know or believed they could have done more to stop the suicide.”

Many experience isolation. “There’s a social stigma related to suicide. Ultimately, suicide is an end result of sever mental illness or depression. Of course, there is a social stigma attached to that as well. The support group can help survivors step over common stereotypes and barriers and give them a place where they can openly talk to others who have experienced the same type of grief.”

To learn more about the LOSS Support Group or individual or family counseling, contact the Catholic Charities office in Kankakee at 933-7791.


Project CARE Suicide Prevention Committee of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties

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