TAPS Helps Military Families Bereaved by Suicide

Bonnie Carroll, founder of TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), was recently featured in a Huffington Post Impact article, "Military Wife Provides Support to Families of the Fallen."

TAPS describes itself as

the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for ANYONE who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death.

TAPS is also a leader in delivering services to people bereaved by suicide.

The Huffington Post article tells the story of Carroll founding TAPS after the death of her husband in a plane crash in 1992 while he was serving in the National Guard. It also outlines the services the organization provides:

Today, TAPS provides comfort and care to military families through four avenues: emotional support, case work assistance, crisis intervention, and a 24-hour helpline [800-959-TAPS (8277)]. Between 60 and 80 people contact the helpline each day, and all 42 members of the TAPS staff are either military survivors or family members of fallen soldiers.

TAPS's outreach to survivors of suicide loss is exceptional. The same intensive, methodical assistance offered to family members who survive other military fatalities is also available to those bereaved by suicide. That work is spearheaded by Kim Ruocco, who lost her husband, Marine Major John Ruocco, to suicide in 2005. TAPS services for suicide survivors include peer mentoring, Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps, and online support.

Family members of military personnel who have died by suicide can contact TAPS via email and through it 24-hour, toll-free number: 800-959-TAPS (8277).

Ruocco's work with military families bereaved by suicide has been featured in two posts on the blog Suicide Prevention News and Comment: