Thriving Retreats

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 25 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.

In 2018, we added special supports for people with a variety of experiences with suicide and called that “Thriving While Living With Suicide.” We thank the Douglas County Community Foundation for partial funding of those supports during 2018.


Thriving Collaborators

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

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

Donna Hanschu, Bereavement Specialist

 Shannon Musgrave, Medium


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

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,


 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.