Our Approach

Support groups can offer a level of acceptance

Whilst individual therapy is preferred by some, many people choose support group programs because of the level of acceptance, solidarity and support.* Being able to speak openly and share experiences with others without having to modify what they say helps people bereaved by suicide feel validated and accepted to understand their experience, gain insight, develop support networks, reduce isolation, ‘normalise’ thoughts and feelings and to have permission to grieve.**

Support groups operate on the understanding that everyone is equal in their ability to think for themselves within the group and often the most profound support comes from the experiences of the participants. There is no obligation to speak. Sometimes people just want to sit and listen and that is ok.

* walijarvi, weiss, & weinman, 2012
**groos shakespeare-finch, 2013; pietila, 2002; walijarvi et al., 2012

The Network’s Support Groups aim to provide:
1.   A safe space for people to meet and express their feelings, within the bounds of confidentiality, compassion and support
2.   Freedom from judgement
3.   Hope that recovery is possible
4.   Shared experiences for participants with their bereavement and difficult anniversaries or events
5.   Opportunities to learn new ways to approach everyday functioning
6.   Opportunities to discuss fears and concerns
7.   Opportunities to learn from each other
8.   Information and support about suicide bereavement
9.   Support in managing associated challenges – personal and familial
10.  A sense of community and acceptance
11.  Information about self-care and points of referral when needed

Adapted from World Health Organisation, 2008



How do I join a group?

Step 1: 
Call 02 4577 4435 to speak with our Support Group Manager, who will take some preliminary details and arrange a meeting for you with your local group Facilitator.

Step 2: 
Meet with your local group Facilitator. This gives you the opportunity to share the circumstances of your loss in a confidential manner and allows time for the Facilitator to understand how to support you attending the group for the first time.

Step 3:
Liaise with your local group Facilitator about attending your first group meeting.


Group locations

The Network provide support groups for adults in theHawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains local government areas.

Our Support groups are located in:
-  Windsor
-  North Richmond
-  2 groups are located in Penrith CBD
-  Katoomba
-  Blaxland

What happens in a group?

Our Support Groups are tailored to meet the needs of participants and may vary accordingly. Support Groups tend to include a combination of:

  • Facilitated discussion, on topics relevant to people within the group
  • Skills training or activities, to provide people with tools to assist with managing feelings and experiences outside of the group
  • An informal tea break to help people adjust and be ready to resume their day

Over time, these help with the processing of complex grief and the development of coping strategies to support recovery.

You don’t have to talk. Sometimes people just want to sit and listen and at other times they want to share and discuss their experiences. However, what most participants say is that the greatest help often comes through meeting and talking with others who have had a similar experience.


Who facilitates a group?

The Network’s Support Groups are facilitated by two people. One is a qualified clinician and the other is a person with appropriate community experience or lived experience who are further along their bereavement journey and want to use their recovery experience to help other people.

The Network Support Collective is the name given to this the group of facilitators and co-facilitators contracted by The Network to run our bereavement support groups throughout the Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains local government areas. They are a diverse group of people who collectively hold a wide range of clinical skills, life experience and lived experience. Collectively, this creates a dynamic and powerful team to support people at their time of greatest need.


Joining a Network Support Group is easy, just make the call.


Need help urgently

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, Call 000

The mental health access line
For more information on mental health assistance, please Click Here

Help a friend

If you know someone who could benefit from joining one of our support groups, why not share our brochure with them.