Carbondale library to offer suicide survivor counseling

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Roughly 30,000 people commit suicide across the country every year, but many people dealing with that type of loss say there aren't enough measures in place to prevent and recover from such a tragedy.

But one Murphysboro couple is hoping to change that.

Sue Vana and her husband lost their son to suicide about a year and a half ago.

18-year-old Niel Vana had just graduated Murphysboro High School with honors. And today his parents say they are still dealing with the aftermath.

Starting Thursday, January 12, Neil's parents have organized a support group that will meet at Carbondale Library once every month. Suicide survivors will be able to share their experiences with others who are dealing with similar situations.

"It's earth shattering," Chrissy Stearns said. "And if someone else has gone through that, then please reach out to someone to talk to."

"It feels very alone," Sue Vana said. "We do isolate ourselves. Because of the shame and feeling like it's our fault. And it's really not true."

The events are sanctioned by the national Group Survivors of Loved Ones to Suicide, which was created by a man from Cape Giradeau.

According to activism site, most suicides generally occur in spring, and many call the third Monday in January "Blue Monday," or the most depressing day of the year.

Vana's support group will be held on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30 at the Carbondale Public Library.

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