NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 27, 2023) – The ADAMHS board is expanding its partnership with a Canton-based non-profit to create a local support system for people who’ve lost a loved one to suicide.
They’re inviting everyone to their New Philadelphia headquarters next Thursday at 6 pm for a meet-and-greet with Light After Loss founder Shannon Ortiz. She leads the suicide loss support group that’s been meeting in Carroll County and will be starting one in Tusc come May.
“It is really survivors supporting survivors, so it is a peer support group where we just share our experiences, what we have learned along our own journey. We always speak from our own perspective, so nobody has to walk alone.”
There will be a sign-up sheet at the meet-and-greet, although you don’t have to be someone who’s experienced a suicide loss to come out and learn about the organization and its services.
“If you’re a community member or a community agency, you never know who has been impacted by suicide because often we sit in silence, so I think once we start to talk about it those referrals will start coming in.”
Ortiz is a licensed clinical counselor who lost her husband to suicide in 2016. She started Light After Loss three years later wanting to turn her pain into purpose.
Tuscarawas County has multiple agencies working to prevent suicides but has been without a loss support group since the last one disbanded early in the pandemic.