Tri-county group highlights resources for survivors of suicide loss

Posted 9 November 2021 at 7:52 pm

Press Release provided by the GOW Pathway to Hope Steering Committee and Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition Member, Meredith Minier

“My name is Meredith Minier and I am a suicide survivor.  That was so hard – impossible – to say and write for a long time, but it is true.

Many people think it refers to a person who has survived a suicide attempt.  Not true.  It means we lost someone we loved dearly – and still love – to suicide. Some days it seems like it was a long time ago, and sometimes is seems like my husband, Lee, died just last week.  If you know me or anyone who has lost someone to suicide, you are a suicide survivor – in fact, I can almost say everyone who is reading this is a suicide survivor. Perhaps it was a cousin, a work associate, your best friend’s mother, the neighbor down the road, or your spouse or child.

We ‘suicide survivors’ are a unique group of grievers with unique challenges; one of the most challenging is fighting the stigma associated with suicide. Many of us feel frozen, in so much pain we don’t know how to move forward. It is not something our loved ones would want for us. I felt that way for a long time until I finally took action to turn my pain into something positive and help those in my community find the help and resources they need to heal and be productive and honor the one they loved and lost.”

To help the process of healing, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( has sponsored the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. AFSP sponsors this special day the Saturday before Thanksgiving of each November. The GOW Pathway to Hope Steering Committee and the Orleans County Suicide Prevention Coalition have planned a week of special online activities preceding the 20th for all the residents of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming County communities to come together and reach out a hand to those grieving following the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Please go to the following Facebook pages Orleans County (, Wyoming County ( or the GOW Pathway to Hope page ( for positive thoughts, ideas and activities for positive action during the Week of November 15th.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss day is observed worldwide as a way of showing support to survivors who are struggling.  Please light a candle on Nov. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. to bring these survivors out of the darkness and into the light with your support.

If you are on Facebook, please take a picture and post it on your page and tag it #LightAPathway2Hope2021 so we can share it on our social media platforms. For those who are not on Facebook but would like to share a remembrance of a loved one or share words of encouragement for those who are grieving, you can send an anonymous message via survey monkey and we will share them as we are able:

“Suicide survivor’s put a face to suicide…by sharing their personal stories, they are able to turn their grief into action and communicate the urgent need to take concrete steps to prevent more deaths by suicide.  Their openness also sends a message of hope that there is always a tomorrow after suicide.” – Author unknown

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety and/or thoughts of suicide it is important to reach out for help.  The Care + Crisis Helpline is a free, confidential helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can call 585-283-5200 or text ‘Hope’ to 741741 and they will help connect you with appropriate assistance.

For the Genesee County Mental Health, call 585-344-1421.  The Orleans County Mental Health Department can be reached at 585-589-7066.  In Wyoming County you can reach out to Spectrum Health at 585-786-0220 or Clarity Wellness at 585-786-0790.  For veterans, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. If you are having a mental health emergency, please call 9-1-1 for assistance.

You are not alone, there are people who want to help.