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Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Mental Health

Mission: Kindness matters, and to the more than 5 million people around the world who lose a loved one to suicide each year, it matters a lot. We provide healing and compassionate support during the lonely and tumultuous aftermath of suicide. We help people survive suicide loss, and go beyond "just surviving," to lead productive lives filled with meaning and joy.

Results: Every day, people write to say the Alliance of Hope is their "lifeline" or "saved my life." Since 2008, more than 15,000 people have joined our forum, exchanging more than 375,000 communications. It is estimated that for each member who actively participates in our forum, 7 to 10 others read and get value, but do not join or post.

Target demographics: Survivors of Suicide loss

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2018 we hosted more than 15,000 survivors of suicide loss (and directly served 2,237 new survivors) on our online forum, which operates as a 24/7 support group. Every day, approx. 7 newly bereaved survivors join the forum, and more than 500 tap in for support. Our website hosted millions of visits from people seeking information and support in the complex emotional aftermath of suicide. We also answered hundreds of calls and emails requests for information and support from survivors, clinicians, students, media, and the general public.

Programs: Alliance of Hope is the leading online resource for people bereaved by suicide. Our services are developed and supervised by Ronnie Susan Walker, a licensed mental health practitioner. They are anchored in best practices, and answer a need not served by any other organization. Programs include: 1) Clinically moderated community forum. 2) Website with resources for new survivors, blog, bookstore, and memorial section. 3) Low-cost Skype and phone consultations for new survivors. 4) Facebook page with original content and messages of support each month.

Community Stories

413 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 4

I lost my nephew-son to suicide in August 2019. I tried to find a support group here in my small community but wasn’t able to find anything. Called several counseling facility’s but nothing available. I found Alliance of Hope about a month later and have found a place to go for support and even counseling over the phone/computer. Reading others stories and posting my own had helped carry me through and lightened the heaviness that comes with a death by suicide. I’ve also received an education concerning the complicated web of this mental illness. I’ve discovered suicide is not a respecter of persons and touches the lives of just about everyone at one time or another.
Thank you for this forum and website

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NO ONE UNDERSTANDS like my new AOH family. I have gone to a counselor I like and really respect. She has helped me identify where I am in the grief cycle but my AOH family have validated how I feel AND ENCOURAGE me by their authenticity and vulnerability. I love my family, but would not want to wake them when I can’t sleep, when I can’t breathe, but AOH is available 24/7 without fear of waking anyone up.
I felt lost and confused as to where I fit. My title is Kaleb’s Gma- but our house was his stable home. AOH recognizes I am affected also.
I have so many words for this Site. Right now my AOH family helps me breathe
I have shared with my Family members. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Bridget Stovall

1 Michelle W.9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I lost my son to suicide. Sorry, I just didn't find the organization was very helpful. I understand they need donations, but felt that was the center of the organization, not actually helping people. The forum was difficult to use. If you wanted to talk with some one, counseling was $75/hour.

I just felt overall the site and people, were condescending.

Losing some one to suicide, shouldn't be about the money.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Ronnie-walker 07/08/2019

Hi Michelle, I’m so sorry for the loss of your son and that you did not find AOH helpful. I hope you find the healing support you need. As you can see from the hundreds of 5-star reviews on this site, your experience is unusual. The Alliance of Hope serves thousands of loss survivors and many call our forum their “lifeline.” We provide extremely cost-effective postvention support, but like any nonprofit, we need to raise funds to sustain our services. Perhaps you joined at a time when we were asking for our community’s support. We are deeply grateful for the individuals and organizations whose partnership has allowed us to expand our services for survivors over the last decade. Without them, we would not exist. We wish you the best in your healing journey.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since 1983 Friends for Survival, based in California, has been providing peer bereavement support to grieving persons affected by a suicide death. There were very limited resources for this grieving segment of our community. We have been honored to provide our services now to about 10,000 families.

We now offer our families the additional resource of Alliance of Hope. Their website is comprehensive and truly relates to the needs of persons trying to cope with such a traumatic death that can traumatize persons for a very long time. Many people do not have resources in their area but Alliance of Hope is available 24/7 and this service can save lives and allow persons to connect with encouragement and hope for the future. We distribute their brochures to every new family that contacts us.

Marilyn Koenig
Executive Director

2 Lisa L.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Loss to suicide completely turns all you think you know about the world and people you love completely upside down. I have used the forums of AOH for close to three years trying to come to terms with and navigate the loss of a beloved family member. Nothing could have prepared my family for this loss, but AOH has helped me find a way to survive it.
Still a work in process, and I have received valuable support at every mile of this very long road at AOH.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Alliance of Hope for suicide loss survivors helped me recover following the devastating loss of my husband. Losing someone this way is the beginning of a journey that most people don’t understand. I’m grateful this organization allowed me to heal and grow in my own way.

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in shock and broken when I found the Alliance of Hope. Life as I knew it was over. But people there understood what I was going through. They showed me how to live again. I don’t know how much that is worth in dollars, but to me it was worth a lot. Everything.

Read more
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are not enough words to explain how this forum has supported me, given me gentle insights and even some good chuckles!
Grieving a loved one who died by suicide is not like other grief. There are many, many layers to this. Although society is slowly becoming enlightened, it's not fast enough when this tragedy is yours. It's a lonely and terrifying road. But, it helps beyond measure when you have people who truly understand. People who are always there. People who have walked along this journey and extend their encouragement and wisdom to you. I am thankful for the forum.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't know how I would have survived without the help of this group. Most "in-person" support groups meet maybe once or twice a month. This group is always there for me 24/7. I have always felt respected and validated. My needs and questions has always been met. It is a forum full of compassion.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I feel deep gratitude towards AOH and those members who were and are there when I need most. There was always someone there providing support to members who need to write out their feelings and seek comfort and support, be it the monitor, the members themselves, the administrators, etc. I feel safe there.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found Alliance of hope after losing my dear brother. I was in shock, desperate and lonely. The staff answered me quickly and gave me comfort and support when I needed the most. They were wonderful. I don’t know what I would have done without Alliance. There’s always someone there to help you out.
The forum is easy accessible and convenient when you feel low. We are all like a big family to help each other. We are all survivors. Thank you so much for your support to the wonderful staff and friends in Alliance.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Suicide loss is utterly devastating and suicide loss survivors can feel isolated and misunderstood by others around them. AOH forum is a safe haven, a compassionate place of understanding and hope where you can connect with others, know you are understood and not alone. The excellent moderators and administrators of the forum are all suicide loss survivors and strive to keep the forum a place of kindness and understanding and are mindful of keeping it a healing environment, so there are membership guidelines and members are expected to follow them to ensure this healing environment is maintained. Having been a member for a good number of years, I am surprised and question the 1 star reviews I see here - they seem very out of place considering the number of very positive 5 star reviews and the thousands of suicide loss survivors who have found AOH a lifeline.

8 Surviving.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A few months following my partner's suicide, I was looking for ways to help me in dealing with the grief, guilt, and all the other emotions. Luckily, I found Alliance of Hope and since that day I'm on the forum almost daily. The support, compassion, and understanding I found here far exceeded my expectations. I never imagined the connections that I would make with people from around the world who literally opened their arms to me during the darkest days of my life. It doesn't matter if you're straight, gay, male or female; if you loss your child, spouse, sibling, partner, best friend, or whatever ... everyone here truly cares and offers insight to help navigate the whirlwind of emotions that come with losing a loved one to suicide.

Sadly, I read one review where she didn't feel included due to being queer. All I can say is that as a gay man, I have felt VERY included and supported by the administrators, moderators, and other members of this forum. Not once have I ever been discriminated against nor "shunned" because of this one very minor part of who I am. Suicide knows no boundaries on who it effects ... and this forum knows no boundaries on whom they help.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found this wonderful website 2 weeks after losing my son. I am in therapy, I have support at home and am not without resources to aid in my coping. Alliance of Hope has by far been the most helpful tool in dealing with my traumatic and horrific loss. I have found a place of solace with others who, sadly, know what I'm going through. My feelings and experiences are met with understanding and genuine concern from an incredibly dedicated group of survivors. There is always someone available to share my pain and offer me heartfelt care. I can't say enough positive things about AOH.

7 juliex2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found Aoh after losing my son a little over two years ago and I continue to come here daily for the support, understanding and validation that losing someone this way causes. Those in my personal life feel I should be done grieving. Moved on. Fortunately they do not understand how shattering and rocked to the core losing someone this way causes. Unfortunately the members here understand all too well. They are the most compassionate, kind, wise and validating group of people I have ever encountered. When support is needed they will lend out a hand and if support is requested they will reach out knowing someone will grab theirs to get through those difficult times that can come out of the blue. Honestly do not know if I could have survived without this forum. Forever grateful.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not tell you what Alliance of Hope has meant to me. After losing my son to suicide I was all alone to deal with the aftermath and complexity that comes with the grief with suicide. Unfortunately those around you do not want to discuss or hear of your loss. They do not understand how difficult it is to work through the loss of someone you love who has taken their own life. There are over 12,000 members unfortunately on the site with too many members joining weekly. But once you introduce yourself you will be met with compassion and understanding. It is a judgment free community of support from people who have all loss someone to suicide. I can guarantee you this that if I did not find Alliance I would not be where I am today. I am early on in my journey but with the help of my virtual travelers I will heal to the best of my abilities.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found this wonderful safe place to share my thoughts and feelings two years ago after losing my dad to suicide. It was the only place that I felt I was understood during the darkest time of my life. The members there reach out consistently and offer hope for healing and support all while managing their own grief. It is a truly beautiful thing to witness such kindness compassion and understanding from such a horrible tragedy. They are amazing warriors and I am so very thankful for the site resources and forum that AOH provides in addition to their services.

James L.1

Client Served

Rating: 1

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT go to this website for help with healing, for help with loss, for help with any of your issues related to grief.

DO NOT DO IT.

The moderators and management on this site are self-serving, they have their own agendas and that does NOT include true help for loss survivors.

I can almost guarantee you will NOT get any help here, it is a waste of time.

Comments ( 1 )

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Ronnie-walker 04/23/2019

We regret this reviewer felt the moderators and management of AOH were self-serving. We work hard to maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere for those experiencing traumatic grief and challenges related to suicide loss. On occasion, someone will conflate serious mental illness requiring multiple hospitalizations, and addiction issues with grief. This often leads to continued disregard for and violation of the guidelines that allow our community to function. – On such occasions, we provide links and referrals to online resources and service providers better suited to their needs.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has truly played an incredible role in my healing after the loss of my husband. I have not the words to express my gratitude for this organization.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

TAS
I have been on the Alliance of Hope daily for almost 4 years. I have never felt more welcomed and supported. I don't know how I would have survived the loss of my husband without the compassion and support of everyone on here. It is one of the best run support groups that I've seen. These members have become much more than just faceless, nameless people. They understand what I'm going more completely than other people in my life. The advise I've received has enabled me to navigate my loss. I'm glad I can be there for others and other people were there for me.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are no words to describe how grateful I am to Alliance of Hope for their support after my father died by suicide. Confused, alone, and in so much pain, they offered compassion and understanding like no other. The loss of a loved one to suicide is so very difficult. Alliance of Hope gave me a safe space to talk about the things I needed to talk about. This is so important for survivors.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Grief support groups for suicide loss survivors is unavailable in my community and I found Alliance of Hope to be easily accessible, always available, much more than a meeting once a week for an hour or two. Members are supportive and understand the devastating and complicated loss of suicide. My raw emotions surrounding the death of my child are always met with compassion and kindness.

Previous Stories
10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The aftermath of a suicide is not something to be taken lightly and those who haven't been touched by such a devastating experience, are often not the right person to help the bereaved. To understand what the survivor goes through, you unfortunately would need to have the personal experience of losing somebody to suicide. I found that it is crucial for a survivor’s future path to get guidance from another who has worn those shoes. Without judgement, they are able to understand the extremity of emotions, fears and anxiety that follows such an event. Sharing a piece of your heart with others are more healing than advice shouted from the side lines.
Alliance of Hope is a resting place for the broken hearted.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon the Alliance Of Hope a week after losing my husband to suicide. I was completely devastated and overwhelmed. I was unable to find support in my area. I was welcomed with open arms and found a port in the storm. I clung to the words of more seasoned survivors who offered hope and encouragement. I now had access to free support, 24/7. I honestly do not know where I would be without this amazing community. Thanks to Ronnie Walker, the staff and all the wonderful forum members, I began to find my feet and believe that we can and do, go beyond just surviving. AOH is a wonderful safe haven where survivors can gather. There is strength in numbers. The support here is phenominal!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Found the Alliance of Hope a few months after losing my son. Even with tons of family, friends and community support .....still I was feeling my intense emotions were too much for family and friends, counseling too infrequent to meet my needs.... even with all the supporters I felt isolated. I found AOH one evening and I just cried as i knew immediately i had found others that understood this horrid loss, this trauma to my soul. I felt heard. I felt embraced. I felt caring. I truly attribute much of my healing to AOH. Writing posts and reading the posts of others helped me feel so much less alone. Truly I am not sure where i would be without AOH. Real people, real emotions, very real support. Thank you Ronnie for creating such a sacred place of support.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Alliance of Hope saved my life after my son took his life. The help I received was critical to my survival. If not for this organization, I would have never heard the term “suicide loss survivor”. I found out that I could be a survivor and now I consider myself to be one.

The support of the community is essential to navigating this complicated grief. The information and counseling through the site is second to none. I am grateful for it every day.

4

Client Served

Rating: 1

Moderators are poorly trained and unqualified to interfere in people's grief. They repeatedly invalidated my feelings, are inappropriately critical of emotions, and insensitive. They break all the basic rules of what one should not say to someone grieving and are too self-congratulatory to examine their own shortcomings. This forum is not queer friendly and I felt traumatized by the treatment I received from culturally insensitive staff. I went there seeking healing and intended to pay for their counseling and donate, but within a week, I became alarmed by their incompetence and found myself awake for hours, upset over their gross insensitivity, both to my grief and to my need to identify as queer and seek queer companionship. I deeply regret stumbling on this organization as they are utterly clueless about gay issues.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Ronnie-walker 09/30/2018

Alliance of Hope welcomes and includes members of every community including the LGBTQ community. We are sorry this person did not find the help she was seeking on our forum. Our forum moderators receive extensive training and are hand-picked for their demonstrated empathy, compassion and ability to provide hope after suicide to a diverse community. We are saddened that our best efforts to welcome and support this individual were met with anger, cynicism and accusations that we were insensitive to her needs. We wish her well and hope she finds the support and understanding she is seeking.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found AOH about 2 weeks after my beautiful son took his life. My family and I are participating in counseling and grief support groups. I have not posted on blogs but read them and cry daily. The support and understanding mean everything to me. I am devastated by my son’s passing and feel supported by the compassionate guidance from AOH in moving through grief.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found AOH a week after my son took his life. This was 3 months tomorrow. I don’t know what I would have done without the forums. I was a total mess as his death was unexpected and I felt like I couldn’t go on. With the support from members I’ve made it this far. I log in several times a day and find the care, love, advice and empathy amazing. Everyone on AOH ‘gets’ how I feel no matter who they’ve lost. I’m so lucky to have found AOH as we have nothing that compares in the UK.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined AOH 2 months after my 24 year old son committed suicide the day before his 25th birthday. AHO is a safe place to come and feel accepted. A place to pour out your sadness, anger,helplessness where someone listens and responds with words of kindness, caring and support.
I credit AOH along with my therapist, family and friends in being able to survive this first year after my son's death.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Finding a group where the depth of your pain and loss is truly understood, isn't easy. Having a go-to-place that is always available 24/7, is almost unreal. Having found such a caring group of strangers some time after my child took his life, was being welcomed into a loving home. Lots of tears and hugs are shared, and healing truly happens here.

4 MaryBeth D.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since I lost my husband in 2016 to suicide, my life has been turned upside down and inside out. This is the most traumatic thing that’s happened to me. I have no family in the area and I’m all alone now with just my dogs. AOH has been a wonderful help! Having support from others who really understand this type of loss is extremely helpful. I’m grateful I have AOH to turn to in my many times of need.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Following the suicides of my mother and step father, this group helped me more than words could ever describe. I was completely lost in grief. I didn't know up from down, left from, black from white. Everything felt backwards and inside out. Like I had been thrown off the world completely. Through sharing and talking to other suicide loss survivors, I managed to cope with the insurmountable loss and continue to do so today, 2 years after they've passed. Without this group, I would still be lost. AOH saved my life and made living bearable when nothing else could.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This community of survivors of suicide loss has offered invaluable support to me since losing my son almost 3 years ago. This members of the group are always willing to offer compassion and understanding, even while dealing with their own painful experiences and deep grief. Though I am fortunate enough to live in an area with a number of in-person support groups, the Alliance of Hope has been available whenever I needed it, with people willing to listen and provide solace. I am extremely grateful to the group's founder, Ronnie Walker and to all of the good people that are part of AOH.

3 Kelly B.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 24 year old son hung himself right before Christmas 2016. He didnt live near me and I searched frantically for 2 weeks trying to find him knowing something was wrong. Jan 5 2017 I was contacted by police , he was hanging for about 2 weeks in his closet. I was of course devastated . My brain was on fire. I found this sight. I wrote everything at all hours of the night going crazy wondering why, how, and the guilt. And I found the most kindhearted moderators , whom never judged my son or I. And it gave great peace to all those questions and thoughts that consumed my brain. Im not 100% and not sure I will ever be but this sight saved my life cus I wanted to go with him in the beginning. Awesome people here that truly understand what its like to loose a child to suicide. Thank GOD for Alliance of Hope.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

After losing my son in 2015 to suicide, the people in my life tried their hardest to understand what I was going through, but despite their love, and patience and support; how could they understand? I finally found Alliance of Hope 2 months later. It was this website where I found others who had lost loved ones to suicide, and they truly understood what I was experiencing. From the trauma of finding my son, to the little baby steps starting to put my life back together. I have yet to post something on this site that no one else has experienced. The members cry with me, and share my accomplishments. No matter what time of day or night I post,others are there to listen and share their journey. Three years later I still turn to AOH, and can say, that this website has been critical in my healing and journey through grief. I am forever grateful for this website, for saving my life, helping heal my broken heart . Alliance of Hope saves lives, and heals hearts. If you are a suicide loss survivior, I invite you to our forums where you will feel understood and unconditionally supported.

3 Shannon P.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This site was something I just stumbled upon in May 2018, while desperately searching for some help after my best friend's suicide. This site has truly been my lifeline. I'm not sure where I'd be without it. I recommended it to my friends and family.
While everyone there has gone through such tragedy, it's a beautiful thing to be able reach out 24/7 and always have someone there to talk you through your darkest moments.
The moderators are wonderful and the resources are truly helpful.
This site is a Godsend.
Shannon

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 19 year old son died in 2014. The very worst unimaginable pain was assuaged slightly when I found AOH. It literally saved me. Sharing my thoughts, feelings, with others who understood was the only way I could heal... four years later I'm still here trying to help others. Thank God for AOH!