Meeting Guidelines

Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ

Meeting Guidelines and Statement of Purpose

Like most support groups, we follow some basic guidelines to make the experience beneficial for participants.

  • We respect the commitment on each others’ time - we will begin the meeting promptly at 7:30 PM and end at 9:00 PM.
  • Our meetings are open only to those who have lost a family member, friend, or coworker to suicide (not to observers or those who have survived a suicide attempt) and each suicide loss has equal value in the group.
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in a meeting.
  • All group discussions should be kept strictly confidential
  • We define and discuss the stages of the grieving process as they relate to suicide loss - shock and denial, fear and anger, guilt and shame, grief and sadness, and, eventually, acceptance and hope.
  • We encourage all group members to share openly, honestly, and from the heart. There is healing in talking about our feelings and comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our grief. But no one should feel pressured to participate - there is also healing in listening.
  • We provide a safe place to share our loss and are free to discuss our anger, fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment, disappointment, sadness, etc. in this meeting without fear of judgment, criticism, or condemnation.
  • We practice acceptance of others in this group.
  • We practice taking responsibility for ourselves by “staying in our own skin.” We speak in “I language” and use healthy boundaries in our discussion.
  • We ask that you respect the group by speaking one at a time and not interrupting another group member.
  • Share your experience, even if you were unhappy about how it turned out. It might help someone else avoid repeating your mistakes.
  • We practice respect for the beliefs and values of others.
  • Spiritual issues may be discussed as long as they do not divide the group or take up an inappropriate amount of time.
  • Please turn off all cell phones when you enter the room.
  • Give yourself a chance. If the first meeting doesn't seem to help, please come back a few more times before deciding it's not for you.
  • We honor your tears with no judgement. There are plenty of tissues in the room.

Based on guidelines developed by Linda L. Flatt, Surviving Suicide ~ 1996