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Suicide support group formed

Scott Seitz2 • Dec 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide. Every 41 seconds someone is left to make sense of it.

Beginning in January, North Central Survivors of Suicide Support Group (NCSOS) will meet at Mercy Willard Hospital in Willard. NCSOS is an exclusively peer-led suicide survivors support group. While there are other support groups that meet in several local cities, none are completely peer-led. The significance and benefit of such a group are that each facilitator shares with the members a common bond of losing a loved one to suicide, as well as providing a consistent, long-term network of support for survivors.

The purpose of NCSOS is to share the experiences related to coping as a survivor of a loved one's suicide, as well as provide a safe environment where members can express the wide range of emotions associated with the loss. As a group facilitated by other survivors, giving professional advice and counseling services are strictly prohibited, though there will be resources readily available to survivors in need of professional services. NCSOS will partner with local mental health professionals several times a year having professionals as guest speakers at meetings. They will provide timely information to the group on subjects such as coping with grief, surviving the holidays, and specific suicide-related topics.

North Central Survivors of Suicide was jointly founded by Monica Kovacs and daughter, Jynelle Rex, to help others suffering with the loss of loved ones after the death of their husband and father, James (Jeff) Kovacs. Following his passing in 2009, Mrs. Kovacs found tremendous support from a similar group just before relocating back to Willard. Together, they will strive to bring hope and comfort to survivors in and around Huron County. According to the Ohio Suicide Prevention website (www.ohiospf.org), the statistics for Huron County are as follows:

* Huron County has a suicide rate of 14 per every 100,000 persons.

* Huron County is higher than the national average of 11.5 per every 100,000 persons.

* Huron County ranks 20 out of 88 Ohio counties with 1 being the county with the highest suicide rate.

* 76.9 percent of suicides are male.

* In Huron County, the 85-plusage group has the highest suicide rate.

The support group will meet the first and third Monday of every month, beginning Jan. 7 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Schaffer Conference Room 1 at Mercy Willard Hospital, located at 1100 Neal Zick Road, Willard.

NCSOS is listed on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (www.afsp.org) and the American Association of Suicidology (www.suicidology.org) websites under the support group categories. A Facebook group has also been created for members to stay informed on upcoming events and can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/NCSOS. Any questions or concerns can be sent to the group's email address: northcentralsos@gmail.com or by writing NCSOS, P.O. Box 351, Willard, OH 44890.

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