Suicide survivors support group forming in Oxford

OXFORD – A local woman whose father committed suicide is reaching out to others in the area who have suffered a similar loss.

Danielle Marshman Williamson lost her father, Dan Marshman, in 2001. The healing process has been a long and arduous one, made even more painful by the stigma attached to suicide deaths.

By starting a local support group, sharing her story and participating in a national broadcast in honor of National Survivors of Suicide Day, Williamson said she hopes that she can assist others who have lost family members to suicide.

When her father killed himself eight years ago, Williamson was devastated. She was living in Massachusetts at the time of his death, hundreds of miles from her mother and brother. She said she felt all alone in dealing with the loss. “I had no one,” she said.

Williamson took it upon herself to search for information and support in her area. She said it was more than a year before she attended her first support group.

Her true breakthrough came, she said, when she stumbled across information on the internet about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“They had the best information for survivors,” Williamson explained.

Three years after her father’s death, she attended a conference hosted by AFSP.

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