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Facilitating Suicide Bereavement Support Groups For adults:

training workshop series


Do you facilitate a suicide bereavement support group? 


Would you like to become a facilitator, or start a new group? 


Whether you’ve been facilitating a group for years or it’s just an idea in the back of your mind, join us to learn best practices for facilitating warm, welcoming, and effective suicide bereavement support groups.


These interactive, experiential training workshops are for anyone with a personal or professional interest in facilitating suicide bereavement support groups (these are not meant as healing conferences; if you’ve lost someone to suicide, you need to be at least 2 years from your loss to register). Mental health professionals are warmly welcome; although we don't offer CE credit, we can provide you with proof of attendance. 


Joanne L. Harpel, MPhil, CT, JD, President of Coping After Suicide, will lead this unique training series. An international authority on suicide loss with decades of experience as a suicide bereavement support group facilitator and trainer, and the survivor of her brother’s suicide, Joanne is the original co-creator of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Support Group Facilitator Training Program, delivered to thousands of individuals nationwide. She has also provided this training for the States of Georgia and Oklahoma, as well as the New York State Funeral Directors Association. 


Sharpen your skills or learn the basics. This interactive workshop series will be recorded and a link to the Zoom recording and training materials will be provided to all registrants. By attending, you give your consent to being recorded. 


We will be offering this series of workshops again in 2023, dates coming soon. In the meantime, the program materials including Zoom recordings from the July 2022 series are available for purchase here

Workshop 1: The Nuts & Bolts of Getting Started

In this workshop, we'll cover:

  • essential elements of successful groups

  • what the facilitator's role is (and isn't)

  • what to watch out for

  • administration, publicity, and attendance

  • how do I know I'm ready?

Workshop 2: Best Practices & How-to’s

In this workshop, we'll cover:

  • essential facilitation skills and strategies

  • open and closed groups

  • the “Hierarchy of Options”

  • handling silence

  • go-to ideas to keep in your back pocket


Workshop 3: Advanced Skills & Tricky Situations

In this workshop, we'll cover:

  • monopolizers

  • conflict between group members

  • the shoulds (judging and advice-giving)

  • help-rejecting

  • group members who are “stuck”

  • handling a group member in crisis

  • boundaries, expectations, and compassion fatigue


Workshop 4: Best Practices for Zoom Groups (And Other Creative Ideas To Try)

In this workshop, we'll cover:

  • special considerations for Zoom groups

  • administration and logistics of Zoom groups

  • Zoom group etiquette

  • publicity and privacy

  • creating closeness, connection, and community






Learn to how to facilitate suicide bereavement support groups for children and teens through our online training workshop series.

These programs are offered in collaboration with Rethink The Conversation's Conversation Masterclass series. 

"Hands down one of the best programs I've ever been to.

What an honor and an experience."




"The single best virtual workshop I've attended

since the pandemic began"

"Amazing and informative"

"I've been facilitating groups for a long time,

and learned so many new things."


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