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.