UK College of Social Work to Host Retreat for Long-Term Survivors of Suicide Loss

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The Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work will host a two-day retreat for Kentuckians that lost someone close to them to suicide more than three years ago. The retreat, which is being offered in collaboration with the Kentucky Interagency Council on Suicide Prevention, Eastern Kentucky University Psychology Clinic, and Brother’s Run, will take place at the University of Kentucky campus June 25-26, 2022.

“Suicide loss survivors often receive services in the days and weeks after their loss, but not in the years that follow,” said Dr. Julie Cerel, Director of the Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab. “This retreat is specifically designed to help long-term survivors integrate their grief into the life they continue to build. Suicide loss can be felt by anyone close to the person that died, regardless of their actual relationship.”

Participants in the retreat will create a timeline of their loss and determine what’s next; explore growth after loss and planting a seed of hope; and craft a personal metaphor for their loss and their life after that loss. Suicide prevention resources available across the Commonwealth will also be discussed. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to support future suicide loss survivors by helping guide the focus of future research, prevention, and service effects.

The retreat will be led by prominent experts, including three past presidents of the American Association of Suicidology.

Suicide loss survivors interested in participating in the retreat can register online at https://ceu.uky.edu/product/suicidesurvivorretreat/. Registration is free, but space is limited.

About the Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab

UK Social Work’s Suicide Prevention and Exposure Lab (SPEL) is dedicated to examining suicide and its impact. The lab focuses on research related to exposure, prevention, and the understanding of suicide as a phenomenon. Additionally, the lab is involved in broad-ranging outreach initiatives designed to better educate communities about suicide. To learn more about SPEL, visit https://socialwork.uky.edu/centers-labs/suicide-prevention-exposure-lab/.

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For 85 years, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) has been a leader in social work education. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world. Like the University, CoSW is an organization that cultivates a diverse academic community characterized by interpersonal fairness and social justice. We are fiercely committed to developing outstanding social work professionals — leaders who will serve individuals, families, and communities through innovative and effective practices that are guided by cultural competency, systematic ethical analysis, and a keen and pragmatic understanding of the human condition.