Franklin James Cook

Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Personal Grief Coaching Helps Bereaved People by Phone

In Announcements, Grief, Postvention on January 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

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In 2013, Suicide Prevention News & Comment editor and publisher Franklin Cook earned his Certified Professional Coach credentials and combined the principles and practices of Life Coaching with those of peer help for traumatic loss survivors to create an innovative telephone support service called Personal Grief Coaching. Here is what it’s all about:


Franklin Cook mug

Helping people cope with grief after a loved one’s traumatic death is Franklin Cook’s mission in life. His own father died traumatically in 1978, and two decades later, he began working with bereaved people as a newfound vocation. After 15 years as a peer helper, he became a Certified Professional Coach and developed this model for one-on-one telephone support, called Personal Grief Coaching. Franklin believes that each person’s unique experience of loss should be honored and respected, and his coaching sessions provide a safe space for grieving people to tell their story as they wish to tell it.

The guiding principles of Personal Grief Coaching:

  • Grief is a natural human response to a loved one’s death.
  • Each bereaved person’s needs are unique, and people benefit from individualized assistance.
  • Peer support from a person who has recovered from a traumatic death can be very helpful to a bereaved person.
  • Grief involves making meaning from things about life that are confusing and painful (which is also called “relearning the world“).
  • Compassionate dialogue with a peer coach can create a place from where bereaved people can find their own way to healing.
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Top Dozen SPNAC Posts Highlighted for Readers

In Announcements on January 26, 2014 at 7:41 am

The dozen most-read posts from Suicide Prevention News & Comment are listed below. Please see the original announcement or the About Page to learn about SPNAC’s current status (briefly, all posts are available, comments continue to be moderated). Please see the post at the left to learn about SPNAC editor and publisher Franklin Cook’s telephone support service, Personal Grief Coaching — or contact Franklin for more information.

  1. “Please Stop Saying, ‘Suicide is a permanent solution …'”: bit.ly/permanentsolution
  2. “Youth Suicide among Native Americans Linked to Colonialism”: bit.ly/suicidecolonialism
  3. “‘Cyberbullying not epidemic … not killing our children'”: bit.ly/bullyingnot
  4. “The Last Word on the Financial Crisis and Suicide Prevention”: bit.ly/suicidefinancial
  5. “Edwin Shneidman’s Meditations on Death Are Full of Life”: bit.ly/edshneidman
  6. “Culture of Stigma Is a Key Cause of Military, Veteran Suicides”: bit.ly/culturestigma
  7. “‘Seven Pounds'” Is Guilty of Irresponsibility with Suicide”: bit.ly/poundsguilty
  8. “Dylan Klebold’s Mom Is a Survivor of Suicide Loss”: bit.ly/kleboldmom
  9. “Links to Suicide Grief Stories: May 4, 2009”: bit.ly/grief050409
  10. “Links to Suicide Grief Stories: March 8, 2010”: bit.ly/grief030810
  11. “‘Badge of Life’ Works To Counter Police Trauma, Suicide”: bit.ly/badgeoflife
  12. “Military Widow: After Suicide, ‘The family is chastised, too'”: bit.ly/militarywidow

All of the content on SPNAC will continue to be made available as long as there is an interest in the posts and WordPress continues to provide this basic service for free.

SPNAC Content Available as Editor Begins New Ventures

In Announcements on February 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm

SPNAC (Suicide Prevention News and Comment) was edited and updated regularly from October 2008 to March 2010 by Franklin Cook of Unified Community Solutions. Now — even though new posts are no longer being added — the blog’s content is still available because a number of stories continue to attract readers and comments. For a time, approval of comments being made was “on hold,” but comments are once again being moderated.

Franklin blogs about his current endeavors — especially on topics related to suicide bereavement and helping survivors of suicide loss — at personalgriefcoach.info. You may contact Franklin by email for more information.

The two posts at left will remain on SPNAC’s front page for the time being:

  • “Please Stop Saying, ‘Suicide is a permanent solution …’” is SPNAC’s most-visited post and has garnered more comments than any other post in the blog’s history; and people continue to read the post and share their ideas about it.
  • The February 11, 2010 entry from the Links to Suicide Grief Stories series is representative of SPNAC’s focus on topics of interest to survivors of suicide loss. All of SPNAC posts about grief are archived here.

Listed below are the top dozen most-read posts from SPNAC:

  1. “Please Stop Saying, ‘Suicide is a permanent solution …'”: bit.ly/permanentsolution
  2. “Youth Suicide among Native Americans Linked to Colonialism”: bit.ly/suicidecolonialism
  3. “‘Cyberbullying not epidemic … not killing our children'”: bit.ly/bullyingnot
  4. “The Last Word on the Financial Crisis and Suicide Prevention”: bit.ly/suicidefinancial
  5. “Edwin Shneidman’s Meditations on Death Are Full of Life”: bit.ly/edshneidman
  6. “Culture of Stigma Is a Key Cause of Military, Veteran Suicides”: bit.ly/culturestigma
  7. “‘Seven Pounds'” Is Guilty of Irresponsibility with Suicide”: bit.ly/poundsguilty
  8. “Dylan Klebold’s Mom Is a Survivor of Suicide Loss”: bit.ly/kleboldmom
  9. “Links to Suicide Grief Stories: May 4, 2009”: bit.ly/grief050409
  10. “Links to Suicide Grief Stories: March 8, 2010”: bit.ly/grief030810
  11. “‘Badge of Life’ Works To Counter Police Trauma, Suicide”: bit.ly/badgeoflife
  12. “Military Widow: After Suicide, ‘The family is chastised, too'”: bit.ly/militarywidow

All of the content on SPNAC will continue to be made available as long as there is an interest in some of the posts and WordPress continues to provide this basic service for free.

National Healing After Suicide Event Is Coming to Orlando

In Announcements, Grief on February 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Here is the information for this year’s Healing After Suicide Conference, an annual event that is co-sponsored by the American Association of Suicidology and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN USA).

This year’s conference — on Sat., April 24, in Orlando, Fla. — will feature keynote speaker Donna Schuurman, executive director of the Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Ore. The luncheon speaker is Thomas Joiner, Bright-Burton Professor of Psychology at Florida State University and a survivor of his father’s suicide.

This year’s theme is “Families, Community Systems, and Suicide: Focusing on Survivor Grief, Healing, and Action.” Designed for survivors of suicide loss, support group facilitators, mental health professionals, and interested others, the purpose of the conference is to:

  • Provide assistance to facilitators of survivor support groups.
  • Provide survivors with educational tools and resources to help with their individual journey of healing and transform their experience into action.
  • Assist mental health professionals and other caregivers in understanding the needs of survivors.

The Healing After Suicide Conference features a number of concurrent workshops in the afternoon, including

  • “The 5 Tasks of Grief”
  • “Survivors Working in Suicide Prevention: A Dialogue”
  • “After a Suicide: Helping the Children Heal”
  • “Suicide Loss and the Military” (Panel)
  • “Men’s Grief” (Panel)
  • “Survivors in Action: Finding Your Role in Suicide Prevention and Advocacy”

The all-day conference closes with a healing ceremony, which will be led by Iris Bolton, author of the classic My Son, My Son.

SPNAC readers may download the registration brochure. Registration is also available online.

The Healing After Suicide Conference is held in conjunction with the American Association of Sucidology’s 43rd Annual Conference, Apr. 21-24 in Orlando.

[The abridged URL for this post is  http://www.tinyurl.com/HASconference .]

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I’ll Be at the Out of the Darkness Walk on Saturday in Chicago

In Advocacy, Announcements, Grief on June 26, 2009 at 6:41 am

I just wanted to let SPNAC readers know that I’ll be traveling to Chicago early tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 27) to participate as a Crew Member in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk. This will be my fourth Out of the Darkness Walk (I walked in Washington, D.C., at the first Walk in 2002, then at the second walk in Chicago in 2005, then I started volunteering as a Crew Member in 2007 at the Walk in New York City). My community, the Black Hills of South Dakota is having its first AFSP Community Walk in October of this year (Rapid City, where I grew up, is in the central Black Hills, about 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore).

SPNAC readers may view a video sharing the stories of some of the people who took part in the walk last year in Seattle.

Franklin Cook, SPNAC Editor

[The abridged URL for this post is http://tinyurl.com/OOD-2009 .]

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SPNAC Back after a Brief Pause for Special Task, Special Guests

In Announcements, Grief on February 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm
Carol Graham shares the I.D. tags memorializing her sons Jeff, left, and Kevin. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post)

Carol Graham shares the I.D. tags memorializing her sons, Jeff, left, and Kevin. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post)

By Franklin Cook, SPNAC Editor

Today marks the longest hiatus between new postings on SPNAC (one week) since its launch. Please accept my apologies, but I had training duties to attend to that required my full attention, namely delivering the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Suicide (AFSP) Survivor Support Group Facilitator Training in Denver, Colo., last week, which was co-hosted by the Veteran’s Administration.

I facilitated the training with Joanne Harpel, AFSP’s Director of Survivor Initiatives. It was the second of two such events (the other was in New York last fall), through which AFSP and the VA have explored providing resources focused on strengthening grief support services for survivors of suicide loss.

More than 25 people attended the training in Denver–most of them survivors of a loved one’s suicide who are either now facilitating a support group or who wish to start one–representing 10 states and including veterans, family members of veterans, and caregivers who, whether or not they themselves have lost a loved one to suicide, are interested in contributing their efforts to the cause.

On Day One of the two-day workshop, we have a working dinner, and last week, we enjoyed a first in the history of the facilitator training when we were joined by two very special guests, Gen. Mark Graham and his wife, Carol, who both delivered brief personal remarks and then spent half an hour answering questions and fielding comments from the workshop participants to give us a better idea of the specific needs of soldiers, veterans, and their families when it comes to surviving the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Gen. Graham is the Commander of Fort Carson, Colo., and Mrs. Graham is a board member for the Suicide Prevention Action Network, SPAN USA. They are the survivors of one son’s suicide and, seven months later, of their other son’s combat death in Iraq. To learn more about the Grahams, here is a Denver Post story about them, and here is recent interview with Gen. Graham from KOAA TV in Colorado Springs.

[The abridged URL for this post is  http://tinyurl.com/SpecialGuests .]

[Related SPNAC post: “National Youth Prevention Workers Praised by Survivor Leaders“]

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  • Please see the subscription page to have the weekly SPNAC newsletter sent to you by email (subscriptions are voluntary and private).

The SPNAC Community

In Announcements on October 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Welcome to “Suicide Prevention News and Comment” (SPNAC), serving communities with information for anyone interested in suicide prevention, intervention, postvention, or grief.