My husband, Captain Paul McCarthy died from suicide in July of 2006 after suffering from job-related PTSD for 13 years. During his 21- year- career he was involved in several serious accidents including being hit and injured twice by drunk drivers and nearly killed in 1993 when he was run over by a stolen transit bus. This accident proved to be the etiology of the PTSD which ended up taking his life.
In the aftermath of Paul’s death, we (myself and our children) quickly became familiar with terms like “complicated grief” and “stigma”. We soon realized there was a lack of supports for Survivors. The experience of being a Suicide Survivor is traumatic. Survivors need an inclusive community to help validate their emotions and negotiate through their grief to healing.
Unfortunately, the reality for most Survivors is one of exclusion rather than inclusion and hence no safe community in which to experience validation or healing.
C.O.P.S.S. was founded in Paul’s memory and dedicated to our three children: Paul, Shannon and Christopher, hence Prevent, Support and Care.
It is C.O.P.S.S. mission to create a safe haven for Suicide Survivors.