Support After Suicide is a program of Jesuit Social Services that has been operating in Victoria since July 2004. The primary aim is to support people bereaved by suicide: friends, family and work colleagues. There are several good reasons to be providing this support because we know that there are risks associated with loss to suicide:
- The increased risk of suicide
- Risk of mental health issues particularly anxiety, depression and PTSD and
- The risk of withdrawing from engagement in relationships, community and employment.
Also, it is evident that for many who lose someone to suicide the experience is devastating. There is an intense, overwhelming and prolonged time of suffering; there can also be a sense of isolation and loneliness. So, we must make a response; a compassionate, caring and effective response.
The way that we at Support After Suicide respond is to provide specialist counselling with experienced practitioners who understand the complex experience of loss to suicide. We offer a range of support group programs:
- A professionally facilitated 8-week group
- Monthly groups for parents, partners, siblings and adult children. These are co-facilitated by peers and professionals
- A men’s program and age-specific activities for children and young people
- And peer facilitated support groups in some locations.
We have also developed a range of resources that many people find helpful:
- Information sheets on relevant topics
- Publications of the writings of bereaved people
- Booklets: talking with children and young people about suicide; information for bereaved parents
We have also recently updated the online community. This is a way for bereaved people from across Australia to share with one another in a safe environment online.
We are pleased that we have been able expand our service in new ways in the past few months:
- Partnering with StandBy, Roses in the Ocean and UNE to provide the Post-Suicide Support program in NSW
- Partnering with StandBy to roll out the StandBy program in metropolitan Melbourne and Gippsland in Victoria and
- Coordinating a community postvention response protocol in south east Melbourne.
We know how important and beneficial it is to provide a coordinated and integrated response to people bereaved by suicide so we are pleased to be involved in these recent developments in Victoria and NSW.
We’re also pleased about our partnership with Switchboard VIC. The latest development has been that we have co-facilitated an 8-week bereavement support group specifically for the LGBTIQA+ community. This has been successful and we’re looking to run another group early next year.
To find out more about our service or to receive support in NSW or Victoria click here or phone us on 1800 943 415.