Ronnie Walker, Suicide Grief Expert Available for Comment During Suicide Prevention Week: Sept. 4-10

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Alliance of Hope founder counsels suicide grievers worldwide, offers loved ones’ perspective on tragedy of suicide

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"Remembrance" photo courtesy of Henning Mühlinghaus

We can’t just talk about the victims of suicide, as important as that is. We also have to care for those they’ve left behind.

Ronnie Walker MS, LCPC, leads a world-renowned website supporting those who have lost friends and family members to suicide — an initiative she undertook after losing her own stepson to this tragic act. As founder of the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors, she is available for comment during National Suicide Prevention Week, which culminates in World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. She offers the fresh perspective of a suicide grief expert who has helped thousands bereaved by suicide.

The U.S. has an estimated four million parents, children, spouses, brothers, sisters, partners, friends, and relatives grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide. Walker founded the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors in 2008 to provide healing support to these individuals, knowing not only the anguish they face, but also their greater likelihood of suicide if no one is there to help them cope.

“We can’t just talk about the victims of suicide, as important as that is. We also have to care for those they’ve left behind,” Walker says. “A suicide is like a grenade exploding, leaving family and friends profoundly debilitated and struggling to survive. That’s why so many of our members tell us the support system we’ve created has saved their lives.”

The Alliance of Hope clinically-moderated community forum has more than 35,000 posts covering all aspects of the survivor experience and serves as a lifeline for those who have nowhere else to turn — reaching many in places where little or no support is available. The website contains information to guide survivors through the grieving process, as well as a blog, bookstore and memorials. In 2011 it was rated a Top Health Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.

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Heather Shadur

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