EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – If you have ever experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide, you understand the crushing weight that leaves survivors in heartbreaking despair. You are not alone. Free, local support groups are available, with help from those who have stood in your shoes.
On Saturday, November 19th, many of the Oklahoma branches of Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) came together on the UCO campus in Edmond to support each other and to remember their loved ones lost to suicide. It was part of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, where families from all over the globe came together on the same day for the same reasons.
Kevin Marshall, who lost his son to suicide in 2014, emceed this year’s local event, which included food, guest speakers, and games, followed by a sentimental balloon release.
“It’s kind of a message that we’re sending to our loved ones in Heaven,” Marshall said. “We write a message on the balloons, such as ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you,’ and we release it. And, as it’s being released, something happens inside. As we see our balloon go up with dozens and dozens of others, that we’re not as alone.”
Here is a list of local Survivors of Suicide Loss support groups in the metro area. For those living outside the metro, click here to search for SOSL groups in your area.
If you or a loved one is contemplating suicide, please call 988 or text TALK to 741741. You can also call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) for help 24 hours a day.