Community and Author Events

International Survivors of Suicide Day 2012 Local Gathering Concord, CA

International Survivors of Suicide Day
2012 Local Gathering – Concord, CA

September-November 2019
Thousands of people nationwide walk in their local communities to raise awareness about depression and suicide, and provide comfort and assistance to those who have lost someone to suicide. Community Walks, Campus Walks, and Overnight Walks.
Walk information and short video.
Find the Walks in your state.
The Overnight Walk (2019)

Saturday, November 23, 2019 (Always the Saturday before Thanksgiving)
Survivor Day Information and to find your local events.
Every year, survivors of suicide loss gather together in locations around the world to feel a sense of community, promote healing, and to connect with others that have had similar experiences. Join with others in your community or online to listen to a diverse panel of survivors discuss their losses, how they coped, and much more.

View Documentaries from Past Survivor Days:
Trailer of “The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope”
Trailer of “The Journey Revisited”
View full documentaries. (20-30 min each)
Note: To watch with English subtitles, Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Nepalese, Danish, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, or Swahili captions, click the CC button in the right-hand corner of the “Play” bar.

September 2019
Resources from AFSP.
Resources from AAS.
Media and Information Kit

International Association for Suicide Prevention
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Information and Activities


31st Annual Healing After Suicide Loss Conference
April 27th, 2019 • Denver, CO

52nd Annual Conference American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
“Converging Fields, Expanding Perspectives”
April 24 – 27, 2019 • Denver, CO

IASR/AFSP International Summit on Suicide Research
A meeting that brings together suicide researchers studying topics ranging from neurobiology and genetics to prevention and intervention.
October 27-30, 2019 • Loews Miami Beach Hotel



Guided Journey for Healing from Suicide and Loss

This weekly program offers a supportive space and guides group members to reflect on their loss in order to facilitate a transformative healing process. This group explores a different topic each week and is paced through four phases: (1) Stabilization: Creating Support and Honoring; (2) Processing: Coming to Terms with Memories; (3) Transformation: Finding Perspective and Meaning; and, (4) Integration: Deepening Healing and Wellbeing.

The curriculum is developed for professionals who serve those touched by suicide loss including high schools, colleges, social service and mental health programs, suicide prevention services, hospice and grief services, support groups, and other healing professionals.
Curriculum developed by co-authors Marilynne Chöphel MFT and Robert Lesoine MA, Ed.

Losing someone to suicide is one of the most devastating losses we can experience. The grief is complex and deeply heartbreaking. Sadly, the traces of the traumatic loss can become trapped in the mind and body, easily triggered by everyday reminders. Without the right tools, the trauma and grief can remain hidden and unresolved for years, even a lifetime. There is a great need to respond to the complex bereavement of those who have lost someone close to suicide. Sharing your experience with those who truly understand is an important part of coming to terms with the loss and healing. Creating supportive connection that is safe, consistent, and caring can help to heal the pain and separation following the loss of a loved one.

Consider offering this 10-week program, based on the book Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss. Different from a general support group, this comprehensive guided healing process explores a different topic each week and draws on many portals of transformation including directed mindfulness, self-inquiry, reflective journaling, compassionate connection, somatic awareness, music, poetry, and contemplative practices, to help move from suffering toward more resolution and greater freedom. The guided approach may help to release past trauma, affirm emotions, transform the pain, and honor your relationship with a lost loved one to find greater perspective, meaning, and well-being in your life.

The curriculum is a comprehensive package that provides everything you need to offer this 10-week guided healing journey. The curriculum can be used as-is, or can be adapted for the needs of your group. The package includes Weekly Lesson Plans, a Welcome Packet for Participants, and Instructional Materials for the Group Leaders:

Weekly Topics
A 10-week guided healing process that is paced through four phases, including supportive mindfulness practices:

  • Stabilization: Creating Support and Honoring
    1. The Journey Ahead and Setting Intention
    Guided Practice: Creating Intention
    2. Creating Support and Honoring Your Loved One
    Guided Practice: The RAIN of Self-Compassion
  • Processing: Coming to Terms with Memories
    3. The Journey Begins – Shock and Disbelief
    Guided Practice: Self-Compassion Break
    4. Beginning the Conversation
    Guided Practice: Mindfulness Meditation
    5. Deepening the Conversation
    Guided Practice: Tonglen Meditation
    6. Journey through Grief
    Guided Practice: Compassion Meditation
    7. Remorse & Regret
    Guided Practice: Forgiveness Meditation
  • Transformation: Finding Perspective and Meaning
    8. Emerging Perspective and Meaning
    Guided Practice: Kindness Meditation
  • Integration: Deepening Healing and Wellbeing
    9. Continuing the Conversation
    Guided Practice: Equanimity Meditation
    10. Honoring and Closure
    Guided Practice: Mindfulness Meditation

Welcome Packet for Participants
Documents to adapt for your own needs:

  • Sample Group Flyer
  • Welcome Letter to Group Members
  • Weekly Topics & Practices
  • “The Journey Ahead” Group Member Agreements
  • Support through Loss and Grief Resources
  • Book Flyer

Instructional Materials for the Group Leaders
The materials provided offer a healing process with full guidelines, instruction, and exercises that can be used as-is, or adapted for your own use to respond to the unique needs of your group.

  • Welcome Packet for Group Leaders
  • Tips for Creating Your Group
  • Instructions for Opening Circle, Guided Meditations, Group Share, and Closing Circle
  • 10 Lesson Plans: A healing process is offered for each weekly topic with full guidelines, instruction, and exercises.
  • Guided Interactive Exercises for self-reflection, dyads, and small groups
  • 12 Guided Contemplative Practices
  • 10 “Returning to the Present Moment” guided practices
  • 10 Inspirational Poems and Quotes

Farewell Packet for Participants

  • Farewell Letter to Group Members
  • Continuing Reflections
  • 2 Inspirational Handouts
  • Resources for Continuing the Journey
  • Group Evaluation Form

Group Leaders
Included in the Curriculum are guidelines and resources for the Group Leaders. Because of the complicated bereavement and unique needs of those healing from suicide and traumatic loss, we recommend that your group be run by Co-Leaders: a Group Leader who is a licensed professional (mental health, social worker, counselor, medical provider, teacher, clergy, etc.) and a Co-Leader who is a survivor of suicide loss with at least one year following a suicide or traumatic loss.

The Guided Journey for Healing Group is not an alternative to therapy. We recommend that your group members participate in their own therapy with a licensed mental health professional during the course of the group to be supported at a deeper and more personal level than the group setting. The curriculum and materials we provide are offered as a suggested format, do not constitute specific advice, and we are not responsible for the group members’ experience. If you have any questions or concerns about a participant’s adjustment or mental health, please consult with a local licensed mental health professional.

To Order the Curriculum Package
Because we are striving to develop the best curriculum possible, for a limited time we are offering the Curriculum Package for a reduced price of only $75 for any organizations who would like to offer the 10-week group and provide feedback and suggestions based on your group experience. Your input will be an important part of refining the curriculum before making the package available nationwide. Upon completion of your first group, you will be asked to complete a Feedback to the Authors form.

To order the Unfinished Conversation Guided Journey for Healing Group Curriculum Package, send an email to with the Subject Line: “UC Curriculum Order” and provide: Group Leader’s Name, Title, Organization, Mailing Address, Email Address, and Phone Number. An invoice will be sent to you for payment of $75 by check or PayPal. Once your payment is received, an email will be sent with an attachment of the “Welcome Packet” documents to adapt for your own use, and the Curriculum Package binder of materials will be mailed to you.

For more information and to order, contact:
Marilynne Chöphel LMFT, Co-Author
Unfinished Conversation: Healing from Suicide and Loss—A Guided Journey • (415) 492-1042

“The Unfinished Conversation group curriculum is quite unlike anything I’ve seen in its category, and I would say it is substantial, comprehensive, rich, and well thought out. You have done a masterful job developing this support group model, and I hope you have great success implementing it widely.”

~ Review by Franklin Cook MA, CPC,  a peer grief support helper, trainer, and advocate since 1999, specializing in grief after suicide and other kinds of sudden death. He has also served as a consultant to TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) since 2012, helping deliver peer grief support to families who have lost a loved one in the military from any cause. Currently, he is working with the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services to develop peer grief support services in Massachusetts for people bereaved by a death from substance use. He owns the private consultancy Unified Community Solutions ( and delivers video peer support to bereaved people through his Personal Grief Coaching service (

Thank you for helping to bring support and healing to the hearts and lives of those touched by such great loss.



Out of the Darkness Walk Presentation, Kevin Briggs, CHP Officer Dawn by Lake Merritt October 18, 2014

Out of the Darkness Walk
Presentation: Kevin Briggs, CHP Officer
Dawn by Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA
October 18, 2014


Out of the Darkness Walk, Oakland, CA October 18, 2014
Kevin Berthia, Survivor and Advocate for Suicide Prevention
Sgt. Kevin Briggs, Retired California Highway Patrol Officer, Suicide Intervention/Prevention

Robert Lesoine at the Santa Monica Out of the Darkness Walk
October 25, 2014
Family and friends walking in honor of their loved one.

Out of the Darkness Walk
Dawn by Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA
October 19, 2013

Out of the Darkness Walk Dawn over the Sacramento Capitol Building October 4, 2014

Out of the Darkness Walk
Dawn over the Sacramento Capitol Building
October 4, 2014









Speakers at the Capitol building

Out of the Darkness Walk
Presentation: Katie Williams
Sacramento Capitol Building
October 4, 2014