The Forefront Cares mentor program is inspired by the fact that many survivors have trouble finding anyone, whether family, friend or clinician, able to be present with the complex grief that accompanies suicide loss. Our mentors are suicide survivors at least two years distant from their loss. The program provides training to mentors to help them ground in the fact that our role is not to “fix” anything, but rather to be a compassionate ear to listen to and then normalize what the new survivor is experiencing.
Mentor peer support is designed to be short-term phone contact for several months, depending on the individuals involved. We hope that new survivors will find grief groups and clinical counseling as support to help over the long term. Because cell phones now have nationwide coverage, Cares mentors have done outreach with people as far away as Alaska, Kentucky and Texas. And because grief has no time limit, mentors can reach out beyond the program restrictions for receiving free Cares packages, in one case even six years after a loss.
Forefront Cares Mentors who have shaped this program immeasurably:
L J DaCorsi
Forefront Community Organizers who give their time and energy to the cause of suicide prevention and awareness:
Karen Aguilar Hernandes