Tullahoma could be seeing the start of a group helping each other.

The Tullahoma Art Center will be hosting a meeting for survivors of suicide loss Feb. 13. Laurie Herber, a prevention specialist and volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), said a small group of survivors of suicide loss will have the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m.

Herber has been back in Tullahoma since the end of January. This will be her third time in Tullahoma helping to provide support to survivors.

Herber first came to Tullahoma to help organize the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (ISOSLD) event at the art center in November at TAC to support and provide a safe space for attendees to discuss suicide loss and grief. Since then Herber has made it a point to come back from Washington to Tullahoma to help survivors she’s been in touch with and establish a support group in the community.

“As long as I’m welcomed here, my heart is at home in Tullahoma and in Tennessee,” said Herber.

During her visits since November, Herber has been in communication with survivors she met at the ISOSLD event and has had one-on-one meetings to get feedback and provide resources. Herber said depending on the day and the potential needs of others, she uses a system called ROA, respond, organize and act, which is her version of PSE, prioritize, strategize and execute, to help connect community members with accessible services.

Some members of the community that have reached out and talked to Herber have ranged pastors and a commander at Arnold Air-Force Base.

Herber said the next step in serving the community is to provide grieving support groups, which this meeting could be the first of many for residents in Tullahoma.

Anyone interested in learning more about AFSP can go to afsp.org.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8256) or contact the crisis text line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Kyle Murphy may be reached at kmurphy@tullahomanews.com.

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