Support Group Guidelines

The following guidelines are meant to help our Zoom-based group feel emotionally safe and productive. 

  1. Coping After Suicide®️ peer support groups are not therapy groups. They’re professionally facilitated peer support groups, a space to share openly, honestly, and respectfully. The meetings are about interaction and dialogue (unlike 12-step meetings, where “cross-talk” is discouraged). Having said that, please remember the primary rule of peer support groups: we learn best by hearing the experiences of others, rather than by giving or receiving advice. 

  2. We want to support each individual as they find their own way. Try not to assume you know what someone else is thinking or feeling. Instead, just ask.

  3. Share the airtime of the group. 

  4. Everyone needs to trust that what they share will be kept confidential. It’s fine to discuss your thoughts and feelings about the group with non-members, just don’t reveal any identifying details.

  5. We communicate via group emails that include everyone’s full names and email addresses (including your parent/guardian if you're under 18).

  6. To join the meetings, click on the Zoom link in the email confirming your registration. Please save the link where you can easily find it for future meetings. 

  7. Zoom etiquette:

    • Everyone is expected to participate with video.

    • Sit somewhere you have privacy and if possible, use headphones - people who aren’t members of the group shouldn’t be able to listen in on the conversation or see your screen. 

    • Minimize background noise, including by turning off your phone ringer and notifications, and putting yourself on mute when you’re not speaking.

    • Be fully present (please don’t check your phone, snack, etc. during meetings).  

    • Please try to stay in one place - if you’ve ever been on a videocall with someone who’s moving around you know it can make you a little seasick - now imagine that x10 🤢.  

  8. It’s expected and in the best interest of the group that everyone attends all meetings. Understand that the registration fee can’t be prorated or partially refunded.

  9. We start promptly, so please be on time. If for some reason you’re going to be late or can’t make a meeting, please text or email the facilitator of your group directly (we recommend that you add your facilitator to your contacts for easy access).

  10. Bear in mind that being in the group may feel uncomfortable or even painful at times, particularly in the beginning. This is natural. Be patient and gentle with yourself and your fellow group members. Trust the process.

  11. May you feel seen, heard, and understood. May you find warmth, comfort, support, and understanding here. Grieve fully. Heal well.