With Profound Gratitude
to Our Community
2021 RECORD OF IMPACT
FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Our Growing Community of Hope
Ronnie Susan Walker MS, LCPC
Founder & Executive Director
Because of you, the Alliance of Hope is a truly compassionate community. Our vision is that no suicide loss survivor should go without support. We believe people can survive suicide loss, and go beyond “just surviving,” to lead happy and contributory lives. I hope that as you review this Record of Impact you can feel the stories behind the numbers, the people behind the stories, and – the bottom line for all suicide loss survivors – the hope that comes with hearing: “You are not alone.”
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"No crisis group, medication, or therapy could EVER replace the healing I received from Alliance of Hope. The expertise, compassion, 24hr online support and amazing relationships formed out of grief have been a life saver."
How We Are Helping
Education and support is our goal
We respond to hundreds of calls and email requests for information and support from survivors, clinicians, students, and the general public.
The need increased during the pandemic
We saw a 300% increase in requests for counseling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We work with funeral directors
to better serve loved ones bereaved by suicide.
Our Community Forum is available 24/7, 365
It is tended by a licensed mental health counselor and trained team of 40 moderators and stewards who are themselves survivors. It hosts 21,000 survivors from around the world.
That’s how many visits to our site we’ve hosted since 2008, with visitors from 178 countries.
We assist researchers and reporters
seeking to learn about the impact of losing someone to suicide.
We Believe No Suicide Loss Survivor Should Go Without Support
Who We Are Helping
According to our most recent survey of community members:
884 people responded.
43% lost a child, 23% lost a spouse, 12% lost a sibling, 10% lost a parent, 12% lost a friend or another loved one.
90% are female.
62% found the Alliance of Hope in the initial months after their loss.
53% visit our Forum daily or more than once a day.
81% said the Alliance of Hope was important in their healing journey.
Adult loss survivors are 10 times more likely to consider suicide themselves in the initial months following loss.
POSTVENTION IS PREVENTION
Loss survivors frequently say that the Alliance of Hope community makes a significant difference in their healing journey. These are some of their words.
"My name is Alison, and the Alliance of Hope saved my life. When my son Nick died by suicide, I didn’t know how I could survive. I had been so worn down trying to help him. He had undiagnosed but severe mental illness. I had very little access to professional support.
Being a healthcare worker myself added to my grief about my perceived failure to prevent my son’s death. I was also required to confront the unresolved grief of my father’s death by suicide some 22 years earlier.
My losses made me feel so disconnected from everyone around me, including my extended family. There were no functioning support groups for loss survivors in my area. The options in my mind were non-existent.
Stumbling across the forum at my daughter’s recommendation changed my life four months in. Having my story validated and heard, my emotions witnessed, my heart held, helped me more than anything else.
Three years later, I proudly serve as a moderator for Alliance of Hope Community Forum and I have started my own online support group to help others and pay it forward. The Alliance of Hope community is a pillar of strength, wisdom, support and guidance. It is one of a kind. Thank you so much."
Changing the Conversation:
Suicide is Complicated
Every day we work to eliminate stigma and misunderstanding around suicide. One message that’s widely spread – especially around Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – asserts that “Suicide is Preventable.”
Suicide loss survivors tell us they view “prevention” campaigns with mixed feelings. Although everyone wants suicide to be preventable, the messages in these campaigns are too simplistic and even unfair in that they suggest that suicide is always preventable.
Many loss survivors say that this kind of prevention messaging leaves them feeling guilty, upset, and fearful of being judged. They suffer in silence, reluctant to share their own experience in the face of large-scale campaigns led by mental health experts. And they don’t want to criticize a campaign that just might do some good.
Led by Founder and Executive Director Ronnie Walker, the Alliance of Hope created a social media campaign to alter the conversation. "Suicide is Complicated" counters the usual messaging around prevention. It recognizes what many suicide loss survivors have experienced: Sometimes there are signs… and sometimes there aren't.
With the launch of our digital campaign, we received an outpouring of feedback. More than 80,000 people reacted to the posts in the first couple of days alone. The new messaging resonated deeply with loss survivors. Around the world, they shared and commented via social media and posted about it in our Forum.
"Whether there are signs or no signs, whether there is mental illness or no mental illness, we are all blindsided by suicide."
Conversations about suicide have come a long way in the last few decades, yet we know there is so much more work to do. Suicide is complicated – and we are grateful for your help in altering and expanding the conversation around suicide loss.
Developing New Grief Support
Resources for Specific Populations
Losing a loved one to suicide is a soul-shattering experience. In the aftermath, many survivors are left feeling emotionally broken, guilt-ridden, lost, and wondering how to survive.
The Alliance of Hope is working to develop resources for specific populations. We have piloted 8-week online programs for grieving fathers and grieving widows and will be working on additional programs for mothers and siblings. Each program is led by a trained, experienced facilitator.
These programs offer survivors a way to connect and be with others who have traveled further down the grief journey. They are designed to offer friendship, wisdom, and guidance.
Essay books of specially selected readings to support healing were developed for these programs. They will be available for sale to the general public and counselors later this year.
If you are interested in being notified when the next programs are available or would like to order one of the essay books, please fill out the form.
If you are interested in more than one program, please submit a separate form for each.
We are so grateful to our committed supporters. Your generosity helps people survive the overwhelming despair and trauma of a loved one’s suicide.
The Alliance of Hope has a Guidestar Gold Seal of Approval
FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR
A Letter of Gratitude
My name is Melanie Kenderdine. I am the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Hope. I found the Alliance of Hope in 2009, after my dear brother Russell died by suicide. For several years, I visited the forum every day. I formed connections and friendships with the only community that could take my hand, fathom my pain, and help me heal. It almost sounds cliché – but the Alliance of Hope was my lifeline.
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Melanie Kenderdine, Chairperson
Board of Directors, Alliance of Hope
"Alliance of Hope provided a life raft when I was drowning
in a sea of grief. I am forever grateful."
We Are Grateful to All Our Supporters
Who Make Our Work Possible
Pillars of Hope
Andra Press, Herbert Adelman Foundation
Berryessa - Castro - Lordge Family Fund
Funeral Service Foundation
Kaplan Family Foundation
Al Fudge & Sara Kimmitt
Donna & Ed Soule
The Templeton Family
Melanie Kenderdine (Chair)
John McIntosh (Secretary)
Ellen Karp (Treasurer)
We are grateful to our volunteer moderators who each donate hundreds of hours a year in support of new loss survivors. They bear witness to people’s stories, provide information, and extend hope for going beyond just surviving. We often say “they put the hope in the Alliance of Hope.”