About Franklin County LOSS

Franklin County LOSS provides suicide grief support in Columbus Ohio.

Survivor Companion Program – Meeting someone who has a similar lived experience is often times an important step towards suicide grief support. LOSS introduces survivors to other trained survivors who may be a little further along in their grief journey. There is not “closure” after the death of a loved one to suicide. Instead we encourage survivors to learn how to integrate their loss into their lives. Friendship with another survivor is often times an important part of learning to have hope again.

Events – Sometimes words alone are not enough to continue on the path towards renewed hope. When words are inadequate rituals can be an important ingredient to suicide grief support. LOSS hosts and partners with other community organizers to host Remembrance events and the International Survivor Day. Learn more about the 2017 International Survivor Day hosted by LOSS at the Grange Audubon Center

Education – LOSS is passionate about equipping community leaders to understand more about suicide grief support and suicide prevention. We offer Postvention Education presentations and training classes that can be customized by audience.

First Responder Program – As First Responders, Franklin County LOSS provides 24/7 accessibility of trained volunteers to the Coroner’s office, local law enforcement and hospital chaplains. The LOSS model is an active model of postvention. Postvention is the word used to describe the support those of a suicide loss need. A LOSS Team is made up of trained volunteers – many of whom are survivors of a suicide loss themselves – who go to the scene of a suicide to provide support, resources and to be an installation of hope to those who are left behind.

The original LOSS team was launched in 1998 in Baton Rouge, LA by Dr. Frank Campbell. Dr. Campbell developed the LOSS team model after doing some research and learning it was taking an average of 4.5 years before survivors of a suicide loss reached out for help. During those years many survivors suffered in silence and developed unhealthy coping skills. Having access to suicide grief support is critical. Since then several LOSS Teams have launched throughout the country. Columbus Ohio LOSS launched in 2014.

When activated by the Coroner’s office the trained volunteers of Franklin County LOSS go to the scene and provide support and resources so when the newly bereaved are ready they will know what resources are available in Franklin County.

And just as importantly LOSS will provide hope. From Denise, the Franklin County LOSS Exec Director:

I remember after my son had died by suicide a Mom who had survived her son’s suicide 5 years prior came to see me. I remember looking up at her in amazement because she was able to drive  herself to my home. I simply could not imagine doing anything normal– like driving – EVER again. Meeting her provided an instillation of hope I didn’t even realize I needed. At that time no one else could have given that hope to me – just another survivor.

What is “Postvention?”

Oxford Dictionary: Postvention is counseling and other social care given after the experience of a traumatic event, especially to those directly affected by a suicide.

Wikipedia:  A postvention is an intervention conducted after a suicide, largely taking the form of support for the bereaved (family, friends, professionals and peers). Family and friends of the suicide victim may be at increased risk of suicide themselves. Postvention is a term that was first coined by Shneidman (1972), which he used to describe “appropriate and helpful acts that come after a dire event.” In Schneidman’s view, “the largest public health problem is neither the prevention of suicide nor the management of suicide attempts, but the alleviation of the effects of stress in the survivors whose lives are forever altered.”[1] Postvention is a process that has the objective of alleviating the effects of this stress and helping survivors to cope with the loss they have just experienced.

The aim is to support and debrief those affected; and reduce the possibility of copycat suicide. Interventions recognize that those bereaved by suicide may be vulnerable to suicidal behavior themselves and may develop complicated grief reactions.

Postvention includes procedures to alleviate the distress of suicide-bereaved individuals, reduce the risk of imitative suicidal behavior, and promote the healthy recovery of the affected community. Postvention can also take many forms depending on the situation in which the suicide takes place. Schools and colleges may include postvention strategies in overall crisis plans. These strategies are designed to prevent suicide clusters and to help students cope with the emotions of loss that follow the suicide of a friend.[2] Individual and group counseling may be offered for survivors (people affected by the suicide of an individual).

Why Franklin County LOSS?

Suicide Grief Support is needed in Columbus Ohio. There were 178 suicides in Franklin County in 2015 leaving behind hundreds to make sense of it. The newly bereaved may experience a depth of feelings and shock that can lead to isolation. As survivors of a suicide loss we know how important it is for the newly bereaved to know they are not alone.

Franklin County LOSS exists to be an instillation of hope to the bereaved by suicide, empowering them so they can thrive. We support and equip survivors so they can integrate their loss into their lives, standing together as a connected community for suicide postvention.

Franklin County LOSS provides community resources the newly bereaved is likely unaware of.

The impact of a suicide loss is far reaching. It is estimated that for every suicide loss there are 6 survivors left behind. Many people believe that number is significantly understated.

The sooner people can get help the less likely they are to develop unhealthy coping skills.

Studies show the likelihood of a survivor of a suicide loss taking their own life increases significantly after the loss.

How are Franklin County LOSS First Responders trained?

Every Franklin County LOSS First Responder attends a minimum of 14 hours of training. Each First Responder volunteer has successfully completed Psychological First Aid and spends several hours training, learning and sharing their survivor experience with other volunteers.

Every volunteer is also part of an ongoing training curriculum including:

  • Cultural Diversity Training
  • Crime Scene Etiquette
  • On the Scene Communication Skills
  • Community Services/Resources for Survivors
  • Information exchange with LOSS Team’s outside of Franklin County

Contact Info

If you would like to contact Franklin County LOSS please call 614-530-8064 or team@franklincountyloss.org 3040 Riverside Drive #215 Columbus Ohio

If this is an emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at all times by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text to 741741.

The local Suicide Prevention Services of Franklin County is available at all times by calling 614-221-5445