Parents Beyond Breakup (PBB) is a national suicide prevention charity solely focused on supporting parents experiencing trauma related to relationship and family breakdown, child access and custody issues, and separation, key psycho-social factors closely linked to suicide in men and women across Australia.
Established on Father’s Day 1999 as Dads in Distress, this year the organisation celebrates 23 years of supporting distressed and suicidal parents.
The organisation’s mission is to keep separating parents alive, and in their kids’ lives by providing hope, support, and a voice. This is done through a peer-supported, lived experience and evidence-based model. Engagement and support are delivered through in-person and online groups as well as a National Suicide Prevention Helpline.
Whilst PBB operates frontline services focusing separately on the support needs of dads as well as mums, and more recently grandparents, it is overwhelmingly dads who reach out for support via the Dads in Distress service.
The National Suicide Prevention Helpline and facilitated peer support groups all embody the voices of lived experience – all client facing team and volunteers are themselves peers who have been on the same journey as our parents in distress – separation, isolation, hopelessness, and suicidality. The group process is based on the Carl Rogers model of person-centred therapy. Peer support groups provide psycho-therapeutic and psycho-educational support over each 2 hour meeting.
Multiple peer support groups operate seven days a week for parents including in person and online options. Supported by a social media and email service, PBB’s services are delivered by a core team of experienced staff as well as trained peer volunteer facilitators. These services address primarily situational distress vs mental health, and seek to improve the wellbeing of families, in particular vulnerable families going through breakdown. This is achieved by immediately connecting parents to our community of child-focused individuals and information that will support them through their family crisis.
As we all work toward a world with zero suicide, Parents Beyond Breakup continually assesses and evolves its approach based on evidence-based outcomes.
PBB’s services have been proven to reduce the isolation, hopelessness, and suicidality experienced by separating parents and promote a positive, inclusive, and meaningful relationship between parent and child and a positive co-parenting relationship between parents.
PBB’s research shows significant benefits for those using the National Helpline and/or attending the in person and online peer support groups for dads, mums, and grandparents. For those attending the sessions the self-reported sense of suicidality significantly drops after three sessions (for up to 80% of attendees). Similarly, almost all people calling the Helpline (95%) report a dramatic decrease in stress levels and a heightened sense of connection.
Testament to the decades of support, Parents Beyond Breakup was recently awarded Suicide Prevention Australia’s ‘NSW LiFE Award for Excellence in Suicide Prevention for Priority Populations’, recognising the organisation’s leadership in saving more men from suicide.
Parents Beyond Breakup will deepen and broaden its national services over the coming years and looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with SPA and its members toward a future with zero suicides.
National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1300 853 437
Dads in Distress Peer Support (DIDs): www:dids.org.au
Mums in Distress Peer Support (MIDs): www.mids.org.au
Grandparents in Distress (GIDs: parentsbeyondbreakup.com/gids
For more information: www.parentsbeyondbreakup.com