Heartbeat was created by LaRita Archibald in 1980 following the loss of her son to suicide. The movement to provide reinforcement to suicide survivors has grown to hundreds of groups available in every state. Heartbeat of Durango was formed in 2013 under the sponsorship of Southern Ute Community Action Programs.
To offer empathy, comfort, and relief from isolation, and to role model healthy adjustment to loss in a safe, judgment-free environment to adults touched by suicide. Heartbeat groups offer the opportunity for ventilating and validating feelings, for exchanging comfort and coping techniques to lighten the burden of grief through sharing the load.
What it is: A group of mutual support
What it is not: A therapy group
Why it works: All participants are survivors, normalizes suicide grief, validates suicide loss, defines grief work after suicide, role models resolution, assures suicide is survivable
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
- Over 40,000 people die by suicide every year.
- For every documented suicide, there are 25 attempts.
- Colorado has the 6th highest suicide rate in the nation.
- In 2017, there were 19 documented suicides in La Plata County.
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