group support photoParkwest Medical Center, Peninsula and Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network have teamed up to organize Knoxville’s first Survivors of Suicide Loss Day on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This free community event is open to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. The half-day gathering will be held at Parkwest Medical Center in West Knoxville.

The History of the Day In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, who lost his father to suicide, introduced a resolution to the United States Senate which led to the creation of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Also known as Survivor Day, it was designated by the United States Congress as a day on which those affected by suicide can come together for healing and support. It was determined that Survivor Day would always fall on  the Saturday before American Thanksgiving, as the holidays are often a difficult time for suicide loss survivors.

Survivors Day social imaging

Speakers include:

Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Tworkowski didn’t set out to start a nonprofit organization. All he wanted to do was help a friend and tell her story. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and invest directly into
treatment and recovery. You can learn more about the organization by visiting twloha.com.

Nancy McGlasson lost her eldest son Lee to mental illness and suicide in 1998, and began to gather pieces of memories that very week for her project. Years later she retired early from UT-Knoxville, where she was director of undergraduate admissions, so she could write a creative nonfiction book about Lee. The book is titled Flying Kites at Night, and McGlasson is currently seeking a publisher. She volunteers with TSPN, serves as a co-facilitator for the Knoxville Suicide Grievers Support Group, helps plan the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local Out of Darkness walk, and is a judge for the Paul Quinnett Lived Experience Essay contest for the American Association of Suicidology, a suicide prevention organization. Her work with suicide awareness is always guided by the advice her younger son Luke gave her about her book: “Tell the truth, Mom, even when we look bad. That’s the only way we can help.”

Christinea Beane, creator of Makes Cents Jewelry. Every piece of jewelry she creates includes three elements: a guitar string to represent how we use music to express ourselves, whether through creating or listening; gears to represent psychology and looking
beneath the surface in order to understand; and a penny to represent one’s story, the unique path one has traveled. One
piece of jewelry may be similar to another, but no two pieces are exactly alike. Beane will share her story of survival, as well
as lead the group through a jewelry-making exercise. You can learn more about Beane and her jewelry at: makescentsjewelry.com.

The event will be emceed by Opie Joe from Q100.3.

How to Register

To register for Survivors of Suicide Loss Day please call 865-374-7275 or register online by visiting TreatedWell.com/survivor.