Survivor of Suicide Loss Support Group Facilitators: Do Peers and Professionals Differ?

Rebecca L. Sanford, Julie Cerel, Laura M. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Suicide is a major public health issue affecting countless people each year worldwide. Support groups are one of the few resources available to survivors of suicide loss to aid the healing journey. This study examined differences among support group facilitators based on status as a peer, professional, or peer/professional. Differences emerged among the facilitator types, particularly on attitudes of group effectiveness, the role of sharing stories in the group, when loss survivors should attend, and who should facilitate groups. The results provide important insights about group facilitation differences, though further research is necessary to understand effective approaches. A degree in social work was the most common educational background for facilitators who identified as professionals. As social workers often facilitate groups or work alongside peers in the provision of support groups across a variety of areas, the findings provide insights regarding facilitation differences to which social workers may need to attend.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-322
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Work with Groups
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Mutual aid
  • facilitation
  • grief
  • suicide bereavement
  • support group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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