Although AFSP is not able to recommend individual therapists, the following sources may help you find a local mental health professional:
- Ask your doctor for a recommendation
- Contact the departments of psychiatry, psychology, or social work at your local university or hospital
- Use the American Psychological Association’s locator service at locator.apa.org or 1-800-964-2000.
- Contact The American Psychiatric Association’s referral service at [email protected] or call 1-888-357-7924 and press 0 to speak with a customer service representative
- Contact the National Association of Social Workers’ referral service at naswdc.org or helppro.com/HP/BasicSearch.aspx
- If you are a veteran, contact Veterans Affairs at mentalhealth.va.gov/gethelp.asp
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains lists of therapists as well as treatment centers at store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator
- For low-cost options, visit the Mental Health America website at nmha.org/go/help or call 1-800-969-6642
- If you have insurance coverage, you can contact your insurance carrier for in-network referrals
- If you attend a suicide bereavement support group, you could ask the facilitator and/or other group members for recommendations
- Speak with your local school guidance department
- Google “Depression Research Center” together with the name of your city or local university
“Finding a Mental Health Professional: A Personal Guide,” created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and available at dbsalliance.org/pdfs/finding.pdf, contains useful guidance about questions to ask prospective therapists. Bear in mind that not every therapist will necessarily be the right fit for you, so trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right after one or two appointments discuss your concerns, and if they are not addressed consider trying someone else.
For suicide bereavement supports groups in your area, click here.
GROUP LOCATION: Pittsfield, MA
Healing After Suicide Loss
Contact Name: Peggy Morse, (413)441-6316,[email protected]
Meeting Place: Brien Center Campus, conference room, 334 Fenn Street, Pittsfield, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time: 1st Tuesday of every month from 6:00PM to 7:30PM.
Peer (Survivor) Facilitated, No Fee.
GROUP LOCATION: Great Barrington, MA
Youth Support after Suicide Loss, ages 14 – 25
Contact Name: Paul McNeil, (413)528-2475 x903, [email protected]
Meeting Place: Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP), 60 Bridge Street, Great Barrington, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time: 1st Thursday of every month from 7:30PM to 8:30PM.
Facilitated by RSYP personnel with training for Youth Support Groups, No Fee.
GROUP LOCATION: Serving Greater Springfield and all Western MA located in East Longmeadow, MA
Survivors of Suicide Loss
Contact Name: Diana & Paul Lewis, (413)525-7752,[email protected]
Meeting Place: Forestiere-Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA
Meeting Day(s)/Time: 1st and 3rd Mondays monthly from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
Peer Facilitated, No Fee, Group does not meet on major holidays.
Surviving A Suicide Loss
Contact Name: Geraldine Unger, (413)203-1200 [email protected]
Meeting Place: Popcorn Noir, 32 Cottage Street, Easthampton,MA
Meeting Days: The second Wednesday 12noon-1:30
GROUP LOCATION: Northampton, MA
The Garden-Center for Grieving Children and Teens
Contact Name: Shelly Bathe Lenn, (413)584-7086 x124,[email protected]
Meeting Place: Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect St., Northampton, MA 01060
Meeting Day(s)/Time: Weekly on Sunday Afternoons during Fall and Spring
Facilitated By: Peer/Professional, No charge.
AFSP's Survivor Outreach Program, Western MA:
Contact Jim McAleer, (413) 734-3676, [email protected]
providing trained local volunteers who have experienced suicide loss to:
- meet in person with newly-bereaved survivors and their families
- listen with compassion and offer reassurance that surviving a suicide loss is possible
- recommend helpful things to read, provide info about support groups and resources
24-HOUR CRISIS LINE If you, or someone you know, are ever in crisis, call the
Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
SUICIDE BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUPS
These groups provide a safe place where survivors of suicide loss can share their experiences and support each other. Most groups meet once or twice a month. Outreach visits are also available for newly bereaved families who are not quite ready for a group setting. We strongly recommend calling ahead to confirm locations and dates, and to register if this is your first time attending. A nationwide directory of suicide loss support groups can always be accessed at www.afsp.org/survivingsuicideloss.