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Support for Families

Helping Your Loved One Who is Suicidal: A Guide for Family and Friends, 2021 (PDF/3.90 Megabytes)
Provided by SAMHSA, this guide is designed to help families who have a loved one who is suicidal or has made a suicide attempt. It provides information on understanding suicide, warning signs, and action steps to take. Additionally, it provides guidance on how to prevent future attempts and keep your loved one safe.

Virginia Suicide Prevention Resource Directory, 2020 (PDF/1.10 Megabytes)
This directory is designed to provide a comprehensive easy to use reference of programs available in Virginia to assist individuals who may need suicide prevention resources. The directory also provides a list of available resources that are needed when people are impacted by suicide. Whenever possible, all known national, state, and local resources are provided.

Supporting Your College Student Through Mental Health Challenges, 2020 (PDF/7.09 Megabytes)
Written by Marny Lombard, at Forefront Suicide Prevention, whose son, a college senior, died by suicide in 2013. This guide is designed to help parents and families of students who are struggling with their mental health. It can help them ask well-informed questions and understand when to seek further help. Suicidal urges should always be taken seriously and never dismissed as a ploy to gain attention. Many suicides are preventable.

Supporting College Student Mental Health: Parents' Perspectives, 2019 (PDF/.34 Megabytes)
Provided by the Mary Christie Foundation, this report, based on 1,010 parental surveys, looks at issues including: to what degree parents know about their students' mental health while on campus; how knowledgeable they are of their campus' behavioral health resources; what they assume they'll be told about these issues; and how worried they are about them in general.

Starting the Conversation: College and Your Mental Health, 2016 (PDF/2.69 Megabytes)
This guide is provided by The Jed Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and is for both parents and students. The guide provides crucial information about mental health issues in higher education settings. For parents, it provides steps that can be taken to give as needed support to their students. Students are encouraged to use the information to begin a discussion about mental health.

Support Websites:

Suicide Is Different (opens new window)
Providing support for suicide caregivers, Suicide Is Different, offers a variety of resources and tools to help you assist loved ones who may be struggling with suicide.

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) - Virginia (opens new window)
NAMI of Virginia provides extensive education and resources (including support groups) to assist individuals who may be experiencing mental health issues and to assist their family members/caregivers in helping their loved ones.