Facilitator Resources

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ

Here is a collection of resources to assist suicide loss support group facilitators to run suicide survivor support groups. These guides provide instruction and plans to help start and run suicide support groups. They discuss many aspects required to make the groups successful and to allow the groups to run smoothly.


Using Google Tools For Support Groups

Google has a number of free tools that are helpful for a support group facilitators to use. There are a number of advantages of using Google tools:

      1. By using a Google email or phone number, you can have multiple people access the incoming requests. This works well with co-facilitators.

      2. By using a Google email or phone number, there is no need to change the contact info when a facilitator hands the group off to another facilitator

      3. By not using your personal email of phone number you also avoid putting your personal information on the internet.

What are the Google Tools you can Use for a Support Group?

If you already have a Google account, you will want to create a new Google account to use just for the group. Create the new login as a personal account, not a business account. You will have to switch between the logins ( your existing personal gmail and the support group's ) so that you are using the right account to create the following features.

  • Create a new login with Google - Go to https://accounts.google.com/signup and create a free personal account Google. Choose a username that is similar to your groups name. in our case, we used sosmadisonnj@gmail.com

  • Setup a Gmail email account - Go to https://mail.google.com and adjust the settings so that you either pick up the email in the new gmail account, or have it forwarded to your personal email account or your other facilitators.

  • Setup a Google Voice Account - Go to https://voice.google.com/ to create a new voice telephone number for your area. You can also set it up to have a voice mail message or forward it to your or your co-facilitators personal numbers. You need to access the Google Voice number at least once every six months, or they will cancel it. They send you a reminder well in advance, so all you have to do is go and call it once to refresh it for the next 6 months if someone has not called in that time frame. For example we use (908) 605-0325 as our contact number on our various materials. Feel free to call it to listen to our voicemail message. You can also use Google Voice to call back the people who contact you if you don't want to share your personal number.

  • Setup a Google Contacts Address book - You can create a private address book with all of your groups contacts. You can store all of the email address, names, contact information, phone numbers and loss details in Google Contacts. Go to https://contacts.google.com/ to start to enter your contact information. You can also create mailing lists that you can use to mail out to the entire group.

  • Setup a Google Webpage - Go to http://sites.google.com/new and you can create your own website. It is a simple tool that requires no prior experience to develop a simple contact page. Our entire website is running on Google Sites. The name of the free website will be a long google address. To create a custom web address go to https://domains.google and register a suitable name for your groups's new webpage. The custom name registration will cost you $12 per year to maintain. For example we went with https://www.sosmadison.com

  • Setup a Google Calendar - You can create a public meeting calendar that you can share with members of your group. Go to https://calendar.google.com/ to create a public calendar.

  • Setup a Google Drive - You can store up to 15GB of data for free on a Google Cloud drive. This is a great place to store handouts, brochures, printouts, etc for your group. You can either make them private or you can share them with selected people. Go to http://drive.google.com/ to access your drive.

  • Other Useful Google Tools - There are many other free Google tools including:

      1. Google Docs - A free word processor to develop new documents, similar to MS Word https://www.google.com/docs/

      2. Google Sheets - A free spreadsheet tool useful for tracking various finances, meeting participants, etc. Similar to Excel https://www.google.com/sheets

      3. Google Slides - Free software to make presentations, similar to MS Powerpoint https://www.google.com/slides/

      4. Google Forms - Used to create polls, collect information from people and automatically put it into a spreadsheet https://www.google.com/forms/

      5. Google Alerts - A free tool to allow automatic searches that are relevant for your area. You can set it up to search on terms related to suicide in your area to automatically send you an email if it finds new information on the internet. https://www.google.com/alerts

      6. Setup a Google Analytics Account - You can track what pages on your website are visited and where the visitors are from. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics and create an account and link it to your website.

      7. Setup a Google Search Account - You can find out what search terms people have looked at and what expressions have led them to your webpage. Go to https://search.google.com/search-console/ and setup an account


  • AFSP hosts monthly conference calls for support group facilitators. These drop-in conference calls are open forums where facilitators can ask questions and learn from one another. Whether you are a new facilitator or have been running a group for years, the conference calls can help you be a more effective and creative facilitator. All facilitators are welcome.Monthly Conference Calls for Suicide Loss Support Group Facilitators

    • Resource: Conference Call

    • Summary: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention monthly call. The calls last about one hour and there is no charge to join. Facilitators are welcome to "drop in" on the calls whenever they like, whether for a few minutes or for the whole hour.


  • The Way Forward: Pathways to hope, recovery, and wellness with insights from lived experience

    • Resource: 114 page PDF

    • Summary: Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force

  • Support Groups

    • Resource: Webpage

    • Summary: Here, you’ll find guidelines for creating a support group for attempt survivors or those with suicidal thinking, based on information from several groups in the U.S. and Canada. A list of all known support groups in both countries, plus Ireland and the UK, is at the end of this page.

  • Alternatives to Suicide Peer Support Webinar

    • Resource: 110 minute video

    • Summary: Alternatives to Suicide peer support groups exist because the opportunity to talk about feelings of hopelessness to empathic ears can decrease the inclination to act on suicidal feelings. This webinar will discuss the need for and development of peer-run support groups for people struggling with suicidal feelings and thoughts. Presenters: Janice Sorensen and Sean Donovan.


Here is a collection of information and reports specifically about suicide and suicide prevention efforts across New Jersey.


Psychiatric Emergency and Psychiatric Screening Services

The Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services program (PESS) provides crisis intervention services for residents, including screening for voluntary and involuntary hospitalization, mobile outreach, linkage to appropriate community resources, information and referrals. Counseling, emergency psychiatric evaluations and consultation services also are available.Morris County