Support Group Facilitator Training

Support groups offer a powerful way for those who have lost a loved one to suicide to connect with others. If you have been helped by a support group, you may want to help others by learning to facilitate a group yourself.

The AFSP training program teaches participants to create and facilitate suicide bereavement support groups. The two-day program uses lecture, interactive discussion, and role-playing to prepare participants to run an effective support group.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone who would like to start a suicide bereavement support group.
  • Current support group facilitators who want to deepen their knowledge and skills.
  • The groups are appropriate for both survivors of suicide loss and mental health professionals.

We ask that you wait at least two years after losing a loved one to suicide before attending a training or leading a support group. Especially during these first years of healing, the trainings can trigger strong emotions that can make it difficult to absorb information and master facilitation techniques. If you are recently bereaved, you may wish to seek support through an existing group or by attending a healing conference. For more information about healing conferences, visit www.afsp.org/survivorday, or call 212-363-3500 Ext. 2035.

Can’t attend the next training and don’t want to wait?Order our self-study manual and DVD package through the AFSP Store, located at the top of the webpage. Select the Education and Training section and then the Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups: A Self-Study Facilitator Package.

Upcoming Trainings

To learn about support group facilitator trainings in your area, please sign up for email announcements about this and other AFSP programs through the Survivor e-Network.

We currently offer facilitation training programs aimed at helping adults or children and teens:

Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Adults

This program teaches participants how to start and facilitate a support group for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide. The program is conducted by experts in the field of suicide bereavement, research, and treatment.

Bethesda, MD Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Adults August 8-9, 2014 (Registration is now closed)

Harrisburg, PA Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Adults August 22-23, 2014 (Registration is now closed)

Columbus, OH Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Adults September 12-13, 2014

Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups for Children and Teens

This program teaches participants how to start and facilitate a support group for children and teens age 5 to 18 who have lost a loved one to suicide. The program was developed in collaboration with the Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families and is conducted by experts in the field of childhood bereavement.

Please check back for future training dates.