Monday, August 4, 2014

Finding Peace without All the Pieces

Finding Peace without All the Pieces
Local Author Presents on Grief after Suicide

Denver, Colorado. August 1, 2014.  When people lose a loved one to suicide they often feel like the mosaic of their life has been shattered and that they are unable to put the pieces together. Colorado author, LaRita Archibald knows about this because she has been there. She lost her son to suicide in 1978 and has been a national pioneer in the suicide bereavement movement ever since. Recently she published a book intended to help “suicide loss survivors” find their way on the challenging journey from trauma to healing to eventual peace. She will be presenting to others who have been touched by suicide and those who support them on August 13th at 9:30am at the Mental Health Center of Denver (4141 E Dickenson Place
Denver, CO 80222). The presentation is free and open to the public.

In 1980 Archibald founded HEARTBEAT, one of the first support groups for suicide bereaved. Presently there are 42 chapters HEARTBEAT Chapters in 11 states and 2 foreign countries. She has also been instrumental in giving suicide loss survivors a voice after founding the Survivor of Loss Division of the American Association of Suicidology, an international multi-disciplinary membership organization with a mission to better understand and prevent suicide.

From decades of work with suicide bereaved, Archibald brings wisdom to help survivors of suicide loss build an understanding of the complexities of suicide grief. She offers them reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal for what they have experienced.  By giving names to the unsettling experiences of 'phantom pain' and 'flashbacks,' she validates feelings of anger, responsibility, frustration, even relief, as well as the need to search for answers, reasons and cause. In her presentation LaRita suggests practical strategies for moving from being a victim to a survivor, and eventually, a "thriver.”

"Grief following suicide is compounded,” says Archibald. “This lonely, frightening and extremely painful grief journey is eased within suicide bereavement support groups where peers extend the comfort of "you are not alone", the reinforcement that suicide loss is survivable and encouragement to invest their heartbreak in positive action."

This presentation is part of an educational series supported by the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado. All Educational Sessions are free and open to the public. For more information go to or email Sally Spencer-Thomas ( For more information about the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado, visit, or call 720-352-7505.

About the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado: The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (SPCC) was formed in 1999, when concerned citizens set out to create a statewide agency with the purpose of preventing suicide and creating a resource network for those who were working to prevent suicide around the state. Today, SPCC’s membership of concerned agencies, organizations and individuals who are working in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention has statewide reach. The mission of the SPCC is to reduce suicide and its impact for all Coloradans through advocacy, collaboration and education.

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