Suicide Prevention Center/SAS
Didi Hirsch CMHC
4760 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230-4888

The Need

Surviving the suicide of someone close to you is one of the most traumatic experiences a person will ever endure. For a time it seems that the pain is unending. The Survivors After Suicide (SAS) program at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Center has been helping survivors find their way since 1980.

Survivors After Suicide understands the special needs of those who have suffered this difficult kind of loss. The group was co-founded by a survivor after her 23 year-old brother committed suicide. After searching alone for answers and relief from her pain, she found help by talking to others who shared similar feelings and experiences.

Losing someone to suicide can cause:
Depression
Feelings of Loss
Isolation
Questioning Why
Shock
Grief
Shame
Anger
Guilt
Disbelief

At times the pain can be overwhelming. The Survivors After Suicide program can help.


The Purpose

Our goal is to help group members cope with their grief and pain so they can move forward in their lives in a positive and productive way.


How does SAS help?

Participants say the group offers a place where they are able to talk with others who understand because they, too, have lost someone to suicide. They can share experiences, ask questions, and disclose feelings which they are often unable to express elsewhere. This process facilitates healing.

Most important, participants find a place where there is no shame, no stigma and no isolation involved in being a survivor.

You will be with people who understand.


The Program

The primary feature of the Survivors After Suicide program is an eight week support group. Comprised of six to ten people who have lost someone to suicide, the group meets weekly for 1 hours.

Each group is led by a survivor who has gone through the SAS program and by a professional therapist who specializes in bereavement following a suicide. Groups meet in locations throughout the Los Angeles area.

Follow-up meetings offer ongoing support after the eight week group. People can attend any of these follow-up meetings for as long as they feel the need.


How to Apply

Please call the Survivors After Suicide Program at (310) 751-5382 for additional information about when the next group will be starting. For help in a crisis, please call the 24-hour Suicide Crisis Line (310) 391-1253.

You are not alone.
Survivors After Suicide can help.

Funding and support provided by:
The California Endowment
Entertainment Industry Foundation
S. Mark Taper Foundation
United Hostesses' Charities
United Way


"I believe that the person who commits suicide puts his psychological skeleton in the survivor's emotional closet ... he sentences the survivor to deal with many negative feelings and, more, to become obsessed with thoughts regarding his own actual or possible role in having precipitated the suicidal act or having failed to abort it."

Dr. Edwin Shneidman, Co-founder
Suicide Prevention Center

"I tried to put my brother's suicide out of my mind for 8 years before coming to an SAS group. Now I know that relief from the pain and anxiety comes from opening up and sharing my feelings, not from denying their existence."

Brother of a 26 year-old suicide

"I was reluctant about going to SAS with my husband. I went because he needed the support a group could give him. I was surprised at the help I got from the group."

Mother of a 12 year-old suicide

"Confronting and sharing my feelings after my father's suicide let me get my life started going forward again."

Daughter of a 60 year-old suicide

"Having others to talk to about my son's suicide made my grief bearable, my healing possible."

Mother of a 23 year-old suicide

"Coming to a SAS meeting is like coming home. I don't have to say anything if I don't want to, just being with other survivors helps me."

Wife of a suicide

"The group helped me to live with the question, why? Some questions can never be answered."

Husband of a suicide


This page is a reproduction of a brochure published by Didi Hirsch CMHC/SAS
- 4760 S. Sepulveda Blvd. - Culver City, CA 90230-4888 -

Transcribed by 'DM' for use at The Official Mary Kay Bergman Memorial 06/08/2002.