Whilst individual therapy is preferred by some, many people choose support group programs. This is because of the level of acceptance, solidarity and support that is offered.1 Support groups give participants a place where they can speak openly and share experiences with others without having to modify what they say. This helps people bereaved by suicide to feel validated and accepted, as they are surrounded by others who understand their experience. Groups can also give insight, reduce isolation, normalise thoughts and feelings, and give others ‘permission’ to grieve.2
Support groups operate on the understanding that everyone is equal. All participants are equal in their ability to think for themselves within the group, to choose whether they wish to talk or share, and to offer their own level of support.
* walijarvi, weiss, & weinman, 2012
**groos shakespeare-finch, 2013; pietila, 2002; walijarvi et al., 2012
The Network’s Support Groups
Our support group program aims to provide:
- 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?
Call 0402 627 696 to speak with our Support Group Manager, who will take some preliminary details and arrange a meeting for you with your local group Facilitator.
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.
Liaise with your local group Facilitator about attending your first group meeting.
The Network provide support groups for adults in theHawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains local government areas.
Our Support groups are located in:
- North Richmond
- Penrith CBD
What happens in a group?
Our support groups are run to meet the needs of participants, and may vary accordingly. Support Group sessions include a combination of:
- Facilitated discussion, focusing on topics relevant to those present
- Skills training and/or activities that provide people with the tools to assist in managing their feelings and experiences
- An informal tea break
Over time the discussion, activities and support offered during group sessions help with the processing of grief and aid in the development of coping strategies. They support recovery, while providing an outlet.
However, when attending a group, there is no obligation. There is no commitment to share, speak or participate. Sitting and listening can be its own therapy.
Who facilitates a group?
The Network’s Support Groups are facilitated by two people, a Facilitator and a Co-Facilitator.
Facilitators are qualified clinicians, while a Co-Facilitator is an individual with appropriate community experience or who has lived experience themselves.
The Network Support Collective is the name given to the group of facilitators and co-facilitators contracted by The Network to run our bereavement support groups. They are a diverse group of people coming from a number of professional backgrounds, and who collectively hold a wide range of clinical skills, life experience and lived experience. Together, they create a dynamic and powerful team who support people in their time of greatest need.
Joining a Network Support Group is easy, just make the call.
Help a friend
If you know someone who could benefit from joining one of our support groups, why not share our brochure with them.