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TAPS MAGAZINE

Winter 2016 - Volume: 22 Issue: 4   Print Article

Healing Horizons

By Kim Ruocco, MSW Surviving spouse of Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco

  •   Healing Horizons - Boy at Beach

    September was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Organizations across the country focused their efforts in partnership with TAPS to raise awareness about suicide and prevention.  We provided education on both risk and protective factors and offered connections to crisis and community resources as we spread a message of hope, help and healing.

    At TAPS, we understand that hope saves lives and that negative messaging may increase hopelessness in those who are suffering. We prepared safe messaging guidelines and a resource toolkit available at www.taps.org/hopehelpheal to help empower each of us with the best information on prevention and reporting. Throughout the month, we featured your stories of healing and hope after loss on our #HopeHelpHeal blogs so you could share with others what you have learned about suicide prevention since your loss. 

    The capstone event for the month was the National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar in St. Petes Beach, Florida.  Over 1,000 survivors found the courage to make their way to healing horizons and spend time with their TAPS family.  As a group, they discovered that we each have a story to be told, and it is within our power to define the words and memories we choose to represent our future.   

    We cherished with hope the gift we are given - the opportunity to join together and celebrate the lives of those we love. We learned to walk pathways of remembrance and rebuilding as we ultimately shared the story of our futures with hope and healing. We invite you to learn more about our stories online and in these photos and to join us next year on Oct. 6-8 in Phoenix, Arizona, for the 9th Annual National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar. 

Tags: Suicide, Ruocco Kim
About the Author: Kim is the Chief External Relations Officer for Suicide Prevention and Postvention for TAPS. She is an international public speaker who has a unique combination of personal and professional experience, education and training that provides a comprehensive understanding of suicide prevention and postvention.
Cover Winter 2016
TAPS Magazine is dedicated to the brave men and women who died while serving with the Armed Forces, and to their survivors.
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This article is copyrighted by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). This article may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior written approval. It is permissible for an individual reader to view, reproduce or store a copy of this article, provided it is used only for their own personal and non-commercial use. Uses beyond that allowed by the “Fair Use” limitations (sections 107 and 108) of the U.S. Copyright law require permission from TAPS. Please contact editor@taps.org to request permission. All other rights reserved. 

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