Updated: Nov 17
Dear SOS members,
It’s hard to believe it has been this long, but it is now over ten years since I first came to Survivors of Suicide looking for support. What I found was a welcoming community of peers. People who had similar experiences to my own, and who could use those experiences to help and guide me on my journey to recovery. After about a year of receiving mentoring, I became a mentor myself so that I could pay it forward and help others who needed it. A year or so after that I became the Director of Mentors, before taking the helm of this amazing organization and running it for the past seven years.
While my goal for the past couple of years was to push Survivors of Suicide to the next level by registering as a real-life charity and protect it for the future, a few coinciding events in my real life has given me pause to reflect over the past decade and to re-evaluate my priorities going forward. After careful consideration, I have decided that it is time for me to step away and focus on my real life.
Survivors of Suicide has seen immense growth over the past decade. From its humble beginnings as an informal art project where a small group of friends came together to share their experiences of depression, it has grown to become the largest and longest running mental health support group in Second Life, literally helping thousands of people in the 13 years it has existed. The downside to being such a large and diverse group is that it takes considerable time and effort to run it, and it is simply too much for one or two people to manage on their own. Without anyone willing and able to take on the responsibility of keeping it going, I am very sad to announce that Survivors of Suicide is closing.
I know that this will come as a sudden shock to many of you, especially with our recent expansion and move to a dedicated region. I want you to know that this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, and that all possible alternatives to closing SOS has been carefully considered. I am very aware that this will leave a void for a lot of people who have come to rely on SOS for a safe and supportive environment, so I have asked our wonderful team of Mentors and Directors to be on hand this coming week to give you resources and direct you to other groups in SL where you can find support.
The community has always been the beating heart of SOS. Everything else – the sim, the meeting spaces, the mentor boards, etc – would be nothing but a series of zeroes and ones on a server without you. I hope that you will show each other the same care and spirit of solidarity you have shown over the past 13 years as you move forward without SOS.
We will be hosting a final support group meeting on Saturday October 23rd at 3PM SLT, after which our land, group, radio station, and discord server will close.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing team who has been with us through thick and thin. In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to Kitten Meridoc for her commitment to running the Mentor department, and for ensuring all our Mentors received the training and support they needed, as well as filling in for me when I had to take leave. Thank you to Amy Juneau for doing such a brilliant job of running our Meetings department and for hosting all those meetings through the years. Though Sherridon Mercury only joined our team recently, I would like to thank her for all her hard work ensuring that the move to this new sim was a success.
My sincere thanks go out to all our amazing Mentors, Group Hosts, Activity Guides, Events Crew, and other volunteers past and present, without whom we could not have made it this far. A special thanks and scooby snack goes to Dexter Oxide for his hard work creating most of the scripts that lets SOS work, he is a very good boy.
Finally, I would like to thank my dear friend and mentor, Krissy Sinclair. The original founder of Survivors of Suicide, without whom none of this would have existed in the first place. She took me under her wing all those years ago and has been there to listen and guide me through the years.
It has been an incredible journey, and an absolute privilege to have been a part of providing mental health peer support for the thousands of people who have come to SOS for help over the years. I have learned so much about myself, and about so many of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having allowed me to be part of your journeys, and I wish you all the absolute best for the future.
Survivors of Suicide