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, with the region as 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 also further identified as areas lacking mental health services, according to Wentworth Healthcare’s Needs Assessment 2016/2017 (Wentworth Healthcare, 2017).
Nationally, suicide was the 13th leading cause of death in Australia in 2019 (ABS, 2019), and was the leading cause of death amongst those aged 15-44 between 2016-2018 (Mental Health Commission of NSW, 2018). In New South Wales, there were 896 suspected or confirmed suicide deaths in 2020 (NSW Suicide Monitoring System report no. 4, 2021), 52.5% of which were residents of the Greater Sydney area.
Supporting Government Policy
The suicide bereavement support groups offered by The Network are run in alignment with State and Federal Government policy objectives.
In 2017 the Fifth National Mental Health Plan was released. One of the six core objectives outlined in the plan was suicide prevention (Department of Health, 2017), and a commitment was made by the NSW Government to work towards zero suicides (Berejiklian & Davies, 2018, 17 October).
The Network Support Collective
The Network Support Collective is the name given to the group of facilitators and co-facilitators contracted to run the suicide 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 at their time of greatest need.
The Support Group Manager oversees The Network Support Collective. They are responsible for the recruitment of facilitators, as well as their mentoring, supervision and continued development. In addition to this, the Support Group Manager looks after the day to day functioning of the bereavement support groups in liaison with the Executive Committee.
All of our facilitators are qualified allied health professionals. The team includes psychologists, occupational therapists, credentialed mental health nurses, psychotherapists and counsellors. All are active within their own private practices, the primary health sector or the public health care system.
All facilitators hold current registration with their respective industry bodies, such as AHPRA. The Network also requires facilitators to have current professional indemnity/public liability insurance, as well as a Working with Children Check and Criminal History Check Certificate.
The Network also contracts co-facilitators who are either members of the community with appropriate life experience, or are people with lived experience of being bereaved by suicide. Those joining us with lived experience must be sufficiently along their bereavement journey and hold a desire to channel their experience into help others.
All co-facilitators must have a current Working with Children Check and Criminal History Check Certificate.
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
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
All facilitators and co-facilitators have completed an interactive facilitation training program developed by The Network. This 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.
The Support Group Environment
Our facilitators use their combined knowledge, skills and experience to create a unique environment where people feel encouraged, valued and appreciated. Support Group sessions become a place where individuals feel safe and can share their experiences and insight. They feel supported and heard, which has a powerful and healing effect for many of those attending.
Over time The Network has measured outcomes. It has been demonstrated that the support group model is effective in supporting the recovery of people bereaved by suicide. Additionally, feedback from participants and facilitators inform us that The Network suicide bereavement support groups are significantly valued.
Support Groups: Evidence and Efficacy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that approximately 800,000 people die from suicide globally every year (WHO, 2019). It is a major cause of death around the world and in Australia, where there were 3,318 suicide related deaths in 2019 (ABS, 2019).
The number of subsequent bereaved individuals seeking mental health services is estimated to be six per suicide (Barlow et al., 2010). That means that an estimated 20,000 people were affected by suicide in 2019 in Australia.
Evidence suggests that therapeutic groups are the most indicated intervention to assist suicide survivors in recovery and post-traumatic growth.
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.