Events > 2018 > July > Thriving While Living with Suicide

About this event:

Created by Kelly Ludden

1542 Woodson Rd, Baldwin City, KS 66006, USA

1st Annual
Thriving While Living With Suicide
Saturday, July 28 from 10am – 5pm
at The Light Center
Register for the Thriving Retreat by July 25th HERE.

A unique daylong retreat experience in a peaceful rural setting in southern Douglas County, KS for adults living with suicide.

This retreat is for adults with one or more of these experiences: the loss of loved ones to suicide; living with suicide thoughts, self harm, or attempts; or trying to help loved ones stay safe from suicide. This is for adults who are able to learn from people whose experiences with suicide have similarities with and differences from their own.

The number of participants will be limited, to allow time for our discussions. Participants may come from outside Douglas County.

Sometimes you may be afraid to talk about how you really are. Even with people who are close to you. Sometimes they feel helpless, or truly do not understand, or seem to be tired of hearing about your struggles. At times, “living with suicide” feels like a lonely path. We know you do not have to walk it alone.

In the safe, supportive circle of this retreat, you will have the chance to tell your story, and listen to the stories of others. The chance to receive support and to give support. You will also have opportunities to learn new skills, and about support groups, to help you move from surviving, to truly thriving, while living with suicide.

Our retreat leaders: Marcia Epstein, LMSW; Rose Eiesland Foster, LMSW; and Robin Goff, BSN, MAV all bring their whole hearts and personal and professional experience with suicide to this retreat.

See much more about the Thriving retreats as well as a large list of resources here.

As for the cost: We do not want anyone to miss this experience due to cost. Donations will be welcome. And we thank the Douglas County Community Foundation (KS) for providing partial funding of this retreat.

For questions or for exceptions to payment, contact Marcia Epstein

Register here by Wednesday, July 25th.
You may make your donation (a minimum of $10 is required) when you register or by clicking here.

12th Annual
Freedom of Expression
Saturday, October 6 from 9:45am – Sunday, October 7 11:00am
at The Light Center
(url to come in)
Survivors of suicide loss (adults and children with their adults) are welcome to participate in all or part of the retreat: connecting with nature, relaxation, compassionate conversations, healthy meals, plus opportunities for expression through art and movement.

Register by emailing Marcia Epstein at

Thriving Collaborators
Survivors of Suicide Loss and More

Marcia Epstein, LMSW
Specializes in caring help for people living with suicide in any/all the ways

Rose Eiesland Foster, LMSW
Specializes in caring help for people with mental illness, substance abuse, suicide risk, and bereavement

Robin Goff, RN, BSN, MAV
Founder and Spiritual Leader of The Light Center, Baldwin City, KS


Free, 24/7 mental health supports:

Crisis Text Line, text “Start” to 741-741 As the name implies, this is text not voice.

NAMI Helpline
800-950-NAMI (6264) or

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 800-273-8255 (TALK)

Trans Lifeline, staffed by trans and gender nonconforming people, for trans and gender nonconforming people  or 877-565-8860

The Trevor Project, for LGBTQ+ teen and young adults or 866-488-7386; plus chat and text options included on the website

Veterans Crisis Line or 800-273-8255 Option 1; plus chat and text options included on the website

Plus these peer-to-peer supports

7 Cups of Tea,

Contact Thriving Collaborators:

Marcia Epstein, LMSW

Rose Eiesland Foster, LMSW

Robin Goff, RN, BSN, MAV

Funded in part by:


The Light Center is a small retreat center on 95 acres in southern Douglas County, KS, which offers a safe and sacred space where you can be immersed in the healing power of nature. A bit off the beaten path, The Light Center provides an opportunity to get away from your ordinary world and enjoy a peaceful, nurturing environment. For over 23 years, this cozy retreat has offered small group intensive experiences that allow people to enter into the delicate work of self-healing.

After attending a retreat for women with cancer at The Light Center, Rose Eiesland Foster had the inspiration to create similar retreats for people who have experienced the impact of suicide. And a collaboration began between Rose, Marcia and Robin.

In 2007, we hosted Freedom of Expression, our first annual retreat for people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Living With Suicide Support Groups:

Healing After Suicide, for adults who lost loved ones to suicide

Thriving Family-Friends, for adults who are trying to help loved ones stay safe from suicide

Stayin’ Alive, for people living with suicide thoughts, self-harm, or suicide attempts



 Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center provides a wide range of mental health services of children and adults. 785-843-9192.

Companions, bereavement support series
Sponsored by Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home
Facilitator: Rose Eiesland Foster

DCCCA outpatient substance abuse treatment, 1739 E 23rd, Lawrence,

Heartland Community Health Center provides lower cost mental and physical health care. 785-841-7297.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine, Lawrence; 785-505-5000

NAMI Douglas County Support Groups

~ Peer Support for People With Mental Illness
~ Family-Friends Support for People Supporting People with Mental Illness


24/7 Crisis Supports include:

~ Headquarters Counseling Center, 785-841-2345

~ Sexual Trauma and Abuse Care Center, 785-843-8985

~ Willow Domestic Violence Center, 785-843-3333


Safety Plan Template

Helps reduce one’s risk of acting on suicide thoughts or other unhealthy behaviors, or by adapting for reducing stress for concerned family-friends. List one’s truth about these, and keep the info where it’s available 24/7.

Step 1: Warning signs (emotions, thoughts, images, mood, situation, behavior, physical sensations) that a crisis may be developing:

Step 2: Internal coping strategies – Things I can do to take my mind off my problems without contacting another person (relaxation technique, physical activity, or other):

Step 3: People and social settings that provide distraction (places you can get to, and phone numbers for the people):

Step 4: People whom I can ask for help (with phone numbers for the people):

Step 5: Professionals or agencies I can contact during a crisis (with phone numbers for the people and agencies):

Step 6: Making the environment safer:

Reasons for living: The one thing that is most important to me and worth living for is:
© 2008 Barbara Stanley & Gregory K. Brown

My 3

A phone app to personalize, for safety during times of thoughts of suicide. It connects one to 3 trusted people, as well as well as crisis resources. Available free for android and iPhone.