MADISON, Wis. -

Twice each month, members of the Survivors of Suicide group gather at Journey Mental Health Center to offer support and guidance to one another.

For the last 35 years organization has been supporting families who have lost loved ones to suicide.

“What people generally need soon after a suicide death is help in understanding what happened and what is still happening,” said Nancy Pierce, the clinical coordinator of Survivors of Suicide Services at Journey Mental Health Center. Pierce started the program 35 years ago.

Pierce said it is difficult for many survivors to internalize the loss of a family member to suicide. Finding support can help the survivors deal with the loss.

“People need a structure. They almost kind of need a map. Where do I go? Where am I now? How do I get through this? How do I get out of it?” Pierce said.

She said it is also important for survivors to understand the process will take time.

“This is something that is more like a long distance. It is a marathon. It is not a sprint,” Pierce said. “People need to have a chance to grieve and remember that the person is more than how they ended their life. It is more how they lived their life.”

For more information about the Survivors of Suicide Services at Journey Mental Health Center, visit their website.