SOS, Inc. Background
Survivors of Suicide got its start in the Philadelphia area in 1983. Two women, Sunnie Baron-Freeman and Anne Clark, who had experienced a suicide in each of their families were separately looking for other people who had suffered this tragedy. They sought a "safe place" with people who had "been there." They "connected" through contacts with the Self-Help Clearing House in Philadelphia. They decided to start a support group in Philadelphia where those with similar experiences could share their survivor journeys. Once the Philadelphia group was up and running, a second group opened up in Chester County.
In 1987, Mary Ellen Carpenter from Delaware County suffered the suicide of her son and needed a place to share her grief and learn more about this incomprehensible tragedy. At the suggestion of Sunnie Freeman she opened up a group in Delaware County. Groups followed in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and in southern New Jersey.
Survivors of Suicide, Inc. is now a 501(c)(3) organization with a Board of Directors, all of whom are survivors. The President is Gail Dohrn, Vice President Pat Lufkin, Secretary Olga Thornton and Treasurer, Tony Salvatore.
We believe that sharing our experiences and feelings with each other is the best form of help. We feel that all who have suffered a suicide loss can help others comprehend the incomprehensible. We strive to assure the availability of a safe place to give and receive support.
Support individuals and families affected by suicide loss
Support local and national suicide loss awareness efforts
Provide community information and education on suicide loss
We work towards these goals by sponsoring self-help support groups for suicide grievers in the City of Philadelphia, surrounding counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, and in the tri-state area, collaborating with other groups and organizations supporting local suicide loss awareness efforts, and sharing information about suicide and suicide loss through community conferences, our web site, a quarterly newsletter, and other means