SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Daily Dish) – International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a day when suicide loss survivors can gather to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

Survivor Day has been around since 1999 when it was created by a resolution in the U.S. Congress in and has since been sponsored and supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, taking place each year on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving. This year it will be honored on November 19. Caring for those left behind in the aftermath of a suicide is an essential part of suicide prevention, because suicide loss survivors who are left to grieve alone are at greater risk of suicide themselves.

“Providing them the support they need and deserve is so important. And that’s what the state is all about,” said Taryn Hiatt, theUtah Area Director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Wendy Finau helps host some of the events on suicide loss and prevention. Finau lost her mom 30 years ago and is trying to help with breaking the stigma in the Pacific Islander community around mental health and suicide. “Now I can talk to kids. I can talk to parents. I can talk to strangers,” said Wendy Finau.

Hundreds of organized events are held throughout the U.S. and around the world. We have 8 events in Utah. For those who are unable to attend a Survivor Day event in person, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosts a virtual Survivor Day program online.