Survivors of Suicide Gather for Day of Remembrance

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2012) — Kentuckians who have lost a loved one to suicide are meeting on University of Kentucky campus on Saturday, Nov. 17, to discuss their experience of loss and how to heal from this experience.  Nov. 17 has been designated “International Survivors of Suicide Day” and is being marked at similar events throughout the United States. The program at UK is geared toward helping survivors cope, as well as educating professionals who take care of the suicide bereaved.This event is being co-sponsored by the UK College of Social Work and the Suicide Prevention Efforts for Adolescents in Kentucky (SPEAK), and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the William T. Young Library, auditorium and gallery. Janet Schnell, a psychiatric social worker, suicide prevention advocate and survivor of her brother’s death, will be the featured speaker. “I am honored to be speaking at UK and hope that something we say helps those who are experiencing the overwhelming and complicated feelings we know that survivors feel after having lost a loved one to suicide,” Schnell said.Suicide bereavement expert Julie Cerel, associate professor in the UK College of Social Work, will provide remarks. A panel featuring local suicide-bereaved individuals Barbara Delmonico, Melinda Moore and Yolanda Clay will discuss how they coped with this loss and continue to heal. They will answer questions from the audience. Moderating the event will be Paula Rymer, the Commonwealth’s liaison with colleges and universities, who is also a suicide survivor and a UK College of Social Work graduate. This program will include a video about surviving suicide that will be broadcast at events throughout the United States that day. The day will be concluded with a remembrance ceremony. Attendees are encouraged to bring pictures of their loved one to share during this ceremony.   MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396;  

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