The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) has introduced a new service offering support and resources for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide – Suicide Loss: Outreach, Support and Healing.
MHA recognizes that connection with another person who has experienced loss to suicide can provide invaluable support to those grieving, and through the new service, we offer the unique help of a trained specialist. Shari Applebaum, our Suicide Bereavement Support Specialist, provides compassion in a safe and confidential space, such as an MHA clinic, a community location or at an individual’s home.
Support is provided in a variety of ways and may include: connections to support groups in the community, sharing resources such as books, managing tasks at hand, discussing expectable reactions to a loss to suicide, how and what to share, and supporting family members – especially children. Suicide Loss: Outreach, Support and Healing services are provided at no cost.
"Each person experiences the loss of a loved one to suicide in their own way, and in their own time," said MHA CEO Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R. "Experiencing the loss of a loved one to suicide results in complex emotions and we are here to offer compassion and understanding. By offering the support of a specialist who has their own suicide loss, we can help others feel less isolated in their grief."
MHA offers a number of educational opportunities for the general and professional communities that address suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and post-vention. These include safeTALK and ASIST trainings, which share the premise that most people who have thoughts of suicide do not fully want to die but are struggling with pain in their lives.
"I understand firsthand about the devastating impact that suicide loss has on family, friends and the community as a whole," said Shari Applebaum, who lost her 21-year-old son Miles to suicide three years ago. "A person bereaved by suicide has a long and tedious road to navigate. Everyone grieves differently, and no one should have to walk this painful path alone. I am grateful to have found a caring community of professionals at MHA with whom to partner with on this important work."
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Shari Applebaum, Suicide Bereavement Support Specialist, at 914-345-5900, ext. 7705 or firstname.lastname@example.org