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Conversations of Courage: a caregiver-guided activity journal for the child of suicide loss

A personal campaign sponsored by Erika Barber


Forty years ago, I lost my only sibling Andrea to suicide. As an 15-year-old loss survivor, I struggled to move forward in my grief journey and thought Andrea’s loss would be the most difficult challenge in my life. Thirty-two years later, in 2015, my dad also died by suicide. Since then, I’ve found hope, connection & purpose and credit much of my healing to my involvement with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) . 

As co-chair of the 2010 Elgin Out of the Darkness Walk, I helped coordinate the first on-site silent auction consisting of just a few items that raised a few hundred dollars. With ongoing help, love and support from family and friends, every year the silent auction grew in number of donations and in fundraising totals. Ultimately, the auction transitioned into a raffle of nearly 100 items, raising thousands of dollars! It has truly became a popular core element of the Chicagoland Walk. 

The auction and raffle offered not only an additional source of funds raised to further the mission of AFSP but a space where walk participants could find respite from the potentially challenging emotions of the event. This year, as I have transitioned in my role within AFSP, those family and friends who have volunteered alongside me for so many years in the auction/raffle tent now form my 2024 Chicagoland Walk team of Auction Alumni…& my lifelong team who give me hope every day.

I volunteer with the Illinois chapter of AFSP and participate in the Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk for many reasons: to support the mission of AFSP to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide, to commemorate the lives of my loved ones and to transform my family’s tragedies into a catalyst for positive change. Being in the company of other advocates, loss survivors and others who, like me, live with mental health conditions offers a sense of belonging, of understanding and of family. 

AFSP outreach and educational programs, research grants, advocacy engagements and strategic suicide prevention initiatives are making a difference in the fight against suicide and in the lives of those who have a connection to this cause. Your donation can further the impact.

Join Me in Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Please help me reach my goal by clicking the "Donate" button on this page. All donations are 100% tax deductible and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), funding research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide.

You can also show your support of AFSP and child survivors of suicide loss by purchasing a copy of my workbook Conversations of Courage: a caregiver-guided activity journal for the child of suicide loss here: 

All proceeds from book sales benefit AFSP.

Thank you for your support!