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New group helps survivors of suicide loss
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A new support group is forming for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.
The first meeting of the group for suicide loss survivors will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, at the Central Kansas Dream Center, 2100 Broadway Ave. Use the west door off of Stone Street.
This new group, which is tentatively called “Family and Friends,” will meet weekly for now, said Sharon Engle from the Central Kansas Suicide Prevention Task Force.
“This is close to my heart,” said Engle, who lost her 21-year-old grandson, Robert Shewbart, to suicide three years ago. She also lost her husband, Robert Engle, who died of natural causes in 2012.
“There is such a difference in the grieving process,” said Engle, who has also benefitted from a support group for widows. That’s why a grief support for suicide loss is important. “Talking to someone that has gone through what you’ve gone through is better than talking to your best friend, sometimes.”
This is a new group, but about six people have already shown interest, Engle said. “We know there are people out there that need the help.” It evolved from the Suicide Prevention Task Force, after several people on that group requested a support group.
Kimberly Becker at the Central Kansas Dream Center said the group is a good fit for the center, which helps individuals struggling with life issues.
“It’s been on our heart,” Becker said. “When she asked for a room, I said, ‘absolutely.’”
The Central Kansas Dream Center, a nonprofit ministry that encompasses numerous programs, already had plans to send two of its staff to suicide prevention training in October. They will learn to recognize behaviors of someone at-risk of attempting suicide.