What is LOSSteam?
- LOSS Team was created by Dr. Frank Campbell in 1998 to provide support (postvention) for those left behind after someone completes suicide. It stands for Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors.
- Survivors are at risk due to their emotional response, which may include the use of unhealthy coping strategies or attempting suicide themselves.
- LOSS Team is made up of trained paraprofessional loss survivors and suicide-sensitive mental health professionals acting as volunteers to bring immediate support to survivors of suicide
- LOSS Team is an “active postvention” model—the team is “activated” or goes on-scene immediately, or as soon as possible following the death, when contacted by law enforcement.
- Team members offer emotional support, explain what can be expected in terms of procedures and protocols at the scene, provide follow-up contact with the survivors, and provide referrals to local resources. They stay connected to the survivors for as long as the survivors need them.
- LOSS Team’s goal is to shorten the time elapsed between the loss and the time survivors find the support they feel they need to move forward from their devastating loss.
Why is NAMI Tallahassee leading the effort to form a LOSSteam?
- NAMI is the nation’s voice on mental illness. Roughly 90% of suicides are by persons who have been undiagnosed or undertreated for depression or other major mental illnesses and/or addiction.
- We recognize the value of the LOSS Team model and are leading the way to establish our own community program for suicide postvention.
- Our goal is to ease the trauma and related effects for bereaved survivors of suicide loss through communication, collaboration, and capacity building for postvention services.
Why is forming an active postvention program important?
- Every 10 days someone in Leon County completes suicide (5-year average).
- For every suicide, 45 others are affected; 18 of these experience a serious life disruption.
- Without postvention, bereaved survivors are as much as nine times more likely to complete suicide themselves.
- Only 1 in 4 survivors seeks help. Others are diverted and delayed, perhaps for the rest of their lives, due to intense guilt, shame, sadness and prejudice that often surrounds the loss.
- Survivors are more likely to seek help with their loss sooner if they only knew where to go.
- As many as 25 percent of survivors indicate they struggle with their own thoughts of suicide.
- Survivors need to know they are not alone and that there are other survivors available to them in the months and years ahead.
- Loss Team instills hope in survivors despite the reality and lasting memory of the loss.
January 2017 Conference
NAMI Tallahassee and our partners invite you to join us in creating a community where all survivors of suicide loss have access to support immediately—and for as long as necessary—to decrease their risk of suicide, to strengthen their mental health, and to help relieve their suffering.
For additional information, contact Mary Bowers at Mary@nami-tallahassee.org