SOS started in the Philadelphia area in 1983. Sunnie Baron-Freeman and Anne Clark had experienced a suicide in each of their families and were separately looking for other people who had suffered this tragedy.. They sought a "safe place" with people who had "been there." They "connected" through contacts with the Self-Help Clearing House in Philadelphia and decided to start a support group in Philadelphia.
After getting the group off the ground in Philadelphia, Anne Clark opened a group in Chester County. This group, based in West Chester, has been continuously active for many years.
In 1987, Mary Ellen Carpenter from Delaware County suffered the suicide of her son and needed a place to share her grief and learn more about this incomprehensible tragedy. Sunnie Freeman suggested she start a group in her area. A meeting place was obtained at a crisis center and the group has now been in existence for 15 years.
Groups followed in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and in southern New Jersey.