For health professionals

The Network is a not-for-profit organisation servicing the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Blue Mountains local government areas. It aims to deliver core services in line with State and Federal government policy directives.

Suicides in our local area

Demographic data for suicides in the Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blue Mountains is not yet available, however, it is known that suicide rates have risen in the past decade and the region is the second-highest in NSW for reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress (Bosman & Parsons, 14th May, 2018). Lithgow and the Hawkesbury were further identified as areas lacking mental health services in Wentworth Healthcare’s Needs Assessment 2016/2017 (Wentworth Healthcare, 2017).

In 2017 suicide was the 13th leading cause of death in Australia and between 2013 and 2017, was the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (National Mental Health Commission, 2018) and the leading cause of death in NSW for people aged between 15 and 44 years (Mental Health Commission of NSW, 2018). 

The Network supports Government policy

The Network’s provision of suicide bereavement groups is in alignment with State and Federal Government policy objectives. Groups support resilience and emotional wellbeing of bereaved individuals and help reduce further risk of mental illness and suicide through vicarious trauma and complex grief.

The Fifth National Mental Health Plan was released in November 2017. One of the six core objectives is suicide prevention (Department of Health, 2017) and a commitment by the NSW government is to work towards zero suicides (Berejiklian & Davies, 2018, 17 October). 

Network Support Collective

The Network Support Collective is the name given to the group of facilitators and co-facilitators contracted by The Network to facilitate the suicide 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, creating a dynamic and powerful team to support people at their time of greatest need.

The Support Group Manager oversees the recruitment of facilitators, the mentoring, supervision and continuing facilitator development of facilitators and all day to day functioning of Network suicide bereavement support groups in liaison with the Executive Committee of The Network.

Skilled clinicians

All of our facilitators are qualified allied health professionals. The team includes psychologists, occupational therapists, credentialed mental health nurses, psychotherapists and counsellors. They are all active within their own private practices, the primary health sector or the public health care system. They hold current registration with their respective industry bodies, such as AHPRA. They have current professional indemnity/public liability insurance and current Working with Children Checks and Criminal History Check Certificates.

Community and Lived experience

Our co-facilitators are also contracted by The Network. They may be equally qualified health professionals OR community members with appropriate life experience OR people with the lived experience of being bereaved by suicide, who are sufficiently along their bereavement journey and want to channel their experience to help others. They have current Working with Children Checks and Criminal History Check Certificates.

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

The thinking environment is a philosophy of communication, based on the work of Nancy Kline. It is a practical series of values-based applications which are useful in family, campaigning, community and organisational life, as well as forming the basis of a teaching pedagogy and coaching approach. Wikipedia

Transformational facilitation training

All Network facilitators and co-facilitators have completed an interactive facilitation training program developed by The Network. Training includes a foundation program in The Thinking Environment (TE), practical skills development in the use of applications of the TE and first-hand experience from three years of Network suicide bereavement support group facilitation.

Combined with the diverse collective experience of our facilitators, a unique platform has been established, which transforms the group experience.

It does this by creating an environment where people feel encouraged, valued and appreciated, which enhances their ability to feel safe and to think out loud about their experiences and insights. Being ‘held’ and ‘heard’ with this particular quality of attention is powerful and healing for many people attending The Network’s suicide bereavement support groups.

Network outcome measures demonstrate that the model is effective in supporting the recovery of people bereaved by suicide, and feedback from participants and facilitators informs us that The Network suicide bereavement support groups are significantly valued.

Surviving Bereavement Support Groups: The evidence and efficacy. 

Suicide is a major cause of death, which the World Health Organisation estimates at one million people per year. The number of subsequent bereaved individuals seeking mental health services is estimated to be six per suicide (Barlow et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that therapeutic groups are the most indicated intervention to assist suicide survivor recovery and post-traumatic growth.

CLICK HERE to read move.


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