EVANSTON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ronnie Susan Walker MS, LCPC, leads a nonprofit known for helping those who have lost loved ones to suicide—an initiative she undertook after losing her own stepson to this tragic act. As founder of the Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors, she offers the fresh perspective of a suicide grief expert who has helped thousands bereaved by suicide.
“As we mourn the heartbreaking loss of one of the most beloved talents of our time, let us also remember the friends and family that Robin Williams left behind. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. They will be coping with their grief for years to come. And that’s one of the often-forgotten tragedies of suicide: not just the loss of those who've left us, but the pain of those left behind,” says Walker.
The U.S. has an estimated 4.7 million people bereaved by suicide.  Many grapple with horrific, stigmatized loss, a myriad of debilitating emotions, and complex personal challenges. Most who’ve experienced suicide loss say they never knew such pain existed—yet our society is largely unaware of the degree to which survivors are impacted, and most mental health professionals have received little or no training in aftercare for survivors.
Walker founded Alliance of Hope in 2008 to provide healing support to these individuals, knowing not only the anguish they face, but also their greater likelihood of suicide if no one is there to help them cope. According to a recent study, adult survivors are 10 times more likely to consider suicide themselves.
The Alliance of Hope clinically moderated forum has nearly 130,000 posts covering all aspects of the survivor experience and serves as a lifeline for those with nowhere else to turn—reaching many in places where little or no support is available. The website contains information to guide survivors through the grieving process, a blog, bookstore, and memorials. It is rated a Top Health Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.
 American Association of Suicidology. “Suicide in the USA,” 2010 data.
 Complicated grief and suicidal ideation in adult survivors of suicide. Mitchell AM, Kim Y, Prigerson HG, Mortimer MK Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2005 Oct; 35(5):498-506.