My name is Linda Flatt. I'm a survivor mom, a former support group facilitator, former Southern Nevada Field Liaison for SPAN USA (Suicide Prevention Action Network USA), founding member of the Nevada Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (dissolved in June 2006), and Past Chair of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention (established in March 2005). In June of 1993, my son Paul intentionally took his own life - at the age of 25. That event shattered my life and put me on a very dark road with no light and no road map. Because I had no frame of reference for surviving a suicide death, recovery was long and difficult. But with God's help and the support of loving friends and family, I have traveled through the darkest part of my healing journey, and I am at the place where I want to share my experience with other survivors.
In 1996, in order to support other survivors of suicide loss in my community, I founded a bereavement group for adult survivors at Barbara Greenspun WomensCare Center (Dignity Health Office), 2651 Paseo Verde, Suite 180, Henderson, NV, 89074 (Southeast corner of Paseo Verde and St. Rose Parkway). The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Adrienne and Tim Guesman now facilitate the group. If you are in the Las Vegas area and want further information, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Adrienne and Tim Guesman (email@example.com). You can also call the WomensCare Center at (702) 616-4900.
There is also a faith based group that meets on the second and fourth Monday from 7:00-8:30 PM. It is located at Canyon Ridge Christian Church, 6200 W. Lone Mountain Rd. You may contact the church at (702) 658-2722. For a complete national directory of survivor support groups, please visit: AAS - Support Groups and AFSP Support Groups.
Several years after Paul's death I found that, because of my experience, I was being questioned by others about suicide prevention and intervention. Since I had no answers for these questions, I suddenly found myself on a fork in my recovery road - gathering information about suicide and suicide prevention. As a result of that quest for knowledge (and by divine design) I joined forces with SPAN USA (Suicide Prevention Action Network) - a grass-roots organization founded by survivors and dedicated to the development of a proven, effective national strategy for suicide prevention - and a sustained reduction in the numbers of suicide in the U.S. by the year 2010. The important work that this incredible network of empowered and committed survivors accomplished in a relatively short span of time was nothing short of miraculous. In 2009, SPAN USA merged with the American Foundation of Suicide and SPAN legislative advocacy efforts were continued by AFSP.
In 1999, I was involved in the establishment of the Nevada Affiliate Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. We were a group of devoted folks who worked to increase public awareness and improve suicide prevention programs and education in Nevada. AFSP (www.afsp.org) is dedicated to funding prevention research and offering educational programs and conferences for survivors, mental health professionals, physicians and the public, and we brought those efforts to our community. In June 2006, AFSP-NV was dissolved to allow board members to concentrate their efforts on the community based activities of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention (www.nvsuicideprevention.org), which was established in 2005.
Since Paul's death, I have advocated (on Capitol Hill and in Carson City) for the improvement of suicide prevention efforts in the US and in my home state of Nevada - a state with one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. In 2005, Governor Kenny Guinn funded the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention. A Nevada Suicide Prevention Coordinator was selected in December of that year, and in February 2006, I became the Suicide Prevention Trainer and Networking Facilitator - based in Las Vegas. I retired in 2013, but continue to support suicide prevention and postvention efforts in my community. For a complete list of Nevada Support Groups visit the website for the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention (www.suicideprevention.nv.gov).
My recovery journey through the years has been blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings was a loving husband, Jerry, who encouraged me, after Paul's death, to become (at least semi-) computer literate. He also generously offered me his great gift of web site creation. Jerry originally launched the site in 1988 and it remained online after his death in 2009. You now enjoy the results of a new, expanded, and updated site – with a new address. It was created by a friend and survivor dad, Tim Guesman, who lost his son Jordan by suicide in 2015. We offer this site in memory of Paul and Jordan. It is our prayer that the information on this web site will bring help, hope, and healing to all who visit here.