Dr. Ed Dunne
Dr. Ed Dunne

Dr. Ed Dunne, Director of Survivor Initiatives for SPI, lost his own brother to suicide when they were both young, and went on to become a pioneer in the development of survivor support programs in this country. Dr. Dunne is coordinating SPI's support for survivors programs both in this country and abroad.

Global Support for Survivors of Suicide

The loss of a loved one to suicide is devastating to families. Support groups for survivors of suicide can be effective but in general they provide limited services and suffer from a lack of professional leadership. Loving Outreach for Survivors of Suicide (LOSS), a model program for survivors in Chicago is a notable exception.

Suicide Prevention International (SPI) has adapted the LOSS model and is training mental health professionals at qualified social service agencies in a comprehensive program of support for survivors of suicide. The program includes weekly sessions for the recently bereaved, individual help for those who need it, and monthly support groups. The training has been implemented in New York City and in Beijing, China and will expand to other cities both in this country and abroad. Dr. Edward Dunne, SPI Director of Survivor Initiatives, himself a survivor of suicide and pioneer in organizing and conducting support groups for survivors leads SPI's training of mental health professionals.

The SPI program is unique in including support for children – who are particularly traumatized by the loss of a parent or sibling to suicide. Dr. Cynthia Pfeffer, Professor of Child Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical, a leader in the treatment of children who are survivors of suicide, heads SPI's support service training for children who are survivors of suicide.