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    • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

      If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text:

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      (24/7, free & confidential)

      Or chat with a crisis counselor:
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      888-807-7250

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      If you or someone you know has experienced thoughts of suicide, made a suicide attempt, or lost someone to suicide, we provide healing during and through your crisis.

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  • Client Info
  • Donate
  • Get Help Now
    • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

      If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text:

      9-8-8
      (24/7, free & confidential)

      Or chat with a crisis counselor:
      Chat Now

      Peer-to-peer support for teens
      (Teen Line)
      800-852-8336
      6pm-10pm PST

    • Get Services

      For mental health or substance use services, call intake:

      LA County:
      888-807-7250

      Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm

    • Crisis Counseling

      If you or someone you know has experienced thoughts of suicide, made a suicide attempt, or lost someone to suicide, we provide healing during and through your crisis.

      Get Help Today

My SAS 2023 Winter Potluck Experience

I attended my second Survivors After Suicide (SAS) potluck on December 2, 2023 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Culver City. My first was six months earlier at the summer potluck. Just like my first one, I found this one to be emotionally fulfilling and surprisingly soothing for my soul.

The evening began with partaking in the variety of tasty food and beverages that the attendees brought. It was also the time to casually catch up with friends from the Saturday Drop-In and/or 8-Week groups, and to make new acquaintances. Since I joined Didi Hirsch’s SAS program only in a virtual setting, it is always great to actually meet the “faces” from my laptop screen in person.

After introductory welcome speeches from Rick Mogil and Sandra Yi-Lopez, which provided current updates regarding the SAS program, it was time for what I call, the “open mic” portion of the event. Attendees are welcome to stand and express their thoughts, feelings, or emotions.

Several excellent speeches were made. It was, and is, very impactful. As we know, the suicide survivor community is one that none (or most) of us never thought in a million years we would be part of. However, now that we are, I can’t express how comforting it is for me to hear and learn from other survivors. It has been almost 18 months since my partner of 32 years, Dave, died. Thus, I still feel I’m basically a “newbie” and am open to soaking in as much information and comfort as possible. The potluck serves me in that mission, and I am grateful and thankful for that.

We then each took a small, battery-operated tea light that was provided on our tables and wrote our loved one’s name on it.  As we stood in a huge circle around the room, we then passed our light to the person on our left, and then one-by-one, we went around the room and that person announced your loved one’s name. It was special.  I had not met the person next to me before, so for me, I was filled with emotions when she announced Dave’s name. There was something very impactful about hearing his name said out loud by this woman who never knew him. He was being acknowledged. Not forgotten.

To end the evening, we viewed an uplifting video montage of people around the world in various scenes of joy. It reminded me of the positive aspects of humanity and that life is hopeful.

If you have never been to one of the potlucks, I highly recommend it. The sense of community and knowing I’m not alone in this grief journey is priceless. I’m already looking forward to the summer potluck!

-Tom Whitaker

I lost my partner of 32 years, Dave, in July 2022. I’m now a proud volunteer Peer Facilitator for Didi Hirsch’s Survivors After Suicide program.

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