Questionnaire Highlights Crisis Centers' Work with Survivors

A summary report is now available from a questionnaire on suicide bereavement services and support that was completed by U.S. crisis centers in January. Here is some background information about the questionnaire:

During late 2009 and early 2010, a number of advocates interested in providing better services for survivors of suicide loss ... independently approached the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline about the potential for the Lifeline network to help increase and improve outreach to survivors. As a result of those initial discussions and a desire to learn more about crisis centers’ experience in serving survivors, an independent work group ... formed to develop a questionnaire in order to assess:

  • The nature of calls from survivors to crisis centers
  • The scope of resources [and] materials currently offered by crisis centers to survivors
  • Crisis centers’ need and/or interest in receiving additional support for assisting survivors

The results of the questionnaire showed "that numerous crisis centers in the Lifeline network already have substantial interactions with survivors, whom they help in coping with their grief and potential mental health problems, including suicide risk."

Furthermore, the results demonstrated that although many crisis centers already invest significant time and resources serving survivors, they have clear needs that, if addressed, would enable them to improve and expand their services for survivors. Lastly, the responses highlighted the fact that most crisis centers would not only like to improve their services for survivors but also want to have more opportunities to engage survivors.

In response to the questionnaire's findings and presentations at the Lifeline Steering Committee and Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, Franklin Cook, Director of Survivor and Bereavement Programs for SAVE, is helping to establish a work group of key stakeholders that will explore how to "identify existing resources [and] materials that could be helpful for crisis centers, more fully explore the needs of survivors, and foster greater and mutually beneficial collaboration between crisis centers and the survivor community."

Anyone interested in more information about the results of the questionnaire or about the work group may send an email to Franklin.