[Renton, Washington, March 15, 2020] Crisis Connections, a nonprofit located in Seattle, and Belltown, Washington is addressing the effects of COVID-19 across the state with a series of programs aimed at providing mental, emotional, and financial support to Washingtonians.
Crisis Connections’ CCcares program provides volunteer grief companions who offer phone-based support to individuals and families who have recently been impacted by suicide loss. These voices are trained suicide survivors who have been in this complex and specific type of grief and understand its unique ugliness.
“Suicide is a very complicated death,” says CC Cares Coordinator Susan Peck, who lost her son to suicide 11 years ago and has been volunteering as a grief companion with the Cares program for several years.
CCcares works in conjunction with Crisis Connections suicide prevention initiatives: 2-1-1, The Warm Line, and The 24-hr Crisis Line. Survivors of suicide are at higher risk of developing major depression, PTSD and suicidal behaviors as well as a prolonged form of grief called “complicated grief.” CCcares addresses this concern with a postvention program that provides a care package to survivors. The packaging is personalized and sent with comfort items to guide survivors through a difficult time. Contact the program coordinator Susan Peck to sign up for CCcares.
“My goal in 2020 is still to reach the most people possible and let them know that they are not alone during this period of isolation.” -Susan Peck
Additionally, Survivors of Suicide (SOS) groups are now held virtually the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. You can access these services through www.crisisconnections.org or The Crisis Line at 866-427-4747.
Crisis Connections’ work is crucial, especially in the upcoming months of Covid-19, when suicide rates are expected to rise. This is on top of an already increasing frequency for the past two decades, with Washington state suicide ranking 21st in the nation. Being on the frontline keeps people alive by offering hope and guidance.
“Speaking to someone who has been through it is just irreplaceable.”
In 2019, Crisis Connections’ received an average of 780 calls a day. Since March 2020 they are fielding more than 2,280 calls per day! The staff and volunteers report that people are relapsing on drugs/alcohol, domestic violence calls have increased, and they are receiving more calls around severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Loneliness - which was already considered an epidemic in the U.S. - is overwhelming people who live alone.
Now is the time to reach out. Crisis Connections encourages us all to reach out to a neighbor and practice compassion to prevent this rash of suicide and help support suicide survivors.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or are struggling with complicated feelings, please call:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255
Teen Link: 1.866.833-6546
24-Hr Crisis Line: 1.866.427.4747