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 goes on-scene immediately, or as soon as possible following the death, when contacted by law enforcement, survivors, or hospital personnel.
- Team members offer emotional support, explain what can be expected in terms of procedures, 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 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.
For additional information, contact Mary Bowers at Mary@nami-tallahassee.org