Suicide loss support group launches six-week session March 4

This article was first printed in the Vail Daily on Monday, March 2, 2020. EDWARDS — Two years ago when she lost her husband to suicide, Kris Miller needed help that simply wasn’t available.

Today, she doesn’t want any of her neighbors to feel so bereft.

“To lose someone to suicide is such a different kind of loss,” Miller said. “Because of that, I have been on a journey to find help and give help.”

That journey led her to create a new community outreach group that launches this week. Eagle County’s new suicide loss support group will host its first session Wednesday at Gracious Savior Church in Edwards. Then, every Wednesday evening for the next six weeks, community members are invited to participate in the group’s work.

Miller stressed that it is not mandatory to attend all the sessions and anyone affected by the aftermath of suicide is welcome to attend. The definition of “anyone” includes family, friends, friends of friends, emergency workers, teachers — anyone who has struggled in the aftermath of a death by suicide

“The tendrils from suicide reach far and wide and this is really for anyone who is suffering and could benefit from some healing,” Miller said.

The sessions will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Participants will watch a 20- to 25-minute video followed by a discussion period. At the final session, Miller plans to include representatives from an array of community services — from Speak Up Reach Out representatives to behavioral health professionals to nutritionists to tattoo artists — who can provide information and services for people in need.

“I am trying to think of all the things that would be beneficial for people,” Miller said. “This is really for anyone who could benefit from some healing.”

Healing, and maybe some hope as well.

“I don’t want to tell people there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there is some healing,” Miller said.