World Suicide Prevention Day - Thursday 10 September
Research indicates that for every death through suicide, 135 people are impacted and ten or more are significantly impacted. That’s where ‘StandBy – Support After Suicide’ come in – providing direct support to people impacted by suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September is a time to let Australians know that such support is available.
General Manager StandBy Support After Suicide, Karen Phillips says, “As Australia’s leading provider in suicide postvention, our support services are available 24/7 to any people impacted or bereaved by suicide”.
Many of the people we support tell us that they feel some level of social isolation after experiencing the suicide of someone close to them. Our connection with people is therefore important, and part of what we do is assist them to stay connected with formal and informal support networks,’” Karen says.
Janet Adena is the StandBy Coordinator for Central Queensland, Wide Bay and the Sunshine Coast.
“Our ‘on call’ support team is available throughout the region and provide face-to-face outreach support to individuals, groups and communities impacted by suicide,” Janet says.
“Our team provide a safe space for each individual story to be heard. They also can help with connection to local support networks and assist with further resources as needed. We stay connected to those we support for two years,” she says.
“Research shows us that if people get timely support, they are able to cope better,” Janet says.
With more than 18 years’ experience and continual development, StandBy is funded by the Australian Government to provide their established, evidence-based model. In addition to personal support, the StandBy model also includes community education, professional development and training across Australia to community members, workers and professionals to strengthen the capacity of local communities to support those impacted.
All StandBy’s activities and initiatives are informed by people with lived experience of suicide bereavement – with a national Lived Experience Advisory Group, as well as lived experience representation on advisory groups aligned with each StandBy site in Australia.
“StandBy is guided by the voice of people who have a lived experience in all that we do – from the development of resources to the service that is provided”, says Janet.
Siân Houghton shares how she came to be involved with the StandBy Lived Experience Advisory Group.
" I joined the group to add my voice, for those bereaved by suicide. After losing my son, I know the feeling of complete loss, and want to do what I can for anyone else who tragically finds themselves in the same place”, Siân says.
“I want to make sure that every possible help and kindness is offered to anyone who needs it, and I truly know how important ‘like for like’ contact is to support those who are heartbroken and trying to stay upright. When someone says they can’t imagine how you feel you truly don’t want them to, but I found that just having the understanding of someone who has been in your shoes is incredibly important,” she says.
“By taking part in the Lived Experience Advisory Group I have found the support and love of an amazing group of people and an organisation who strive to ease the pain of grief and loss from suicide,” Siân says. “I found connections to people who understood me without me having to say anything. The power of peer to peer connection is so very important.
“When you lose someone to suicide it is a grief that cannot be explained. I have learnt that together we are very strong and can make a difference to the lives of those bereaved and let know they are not alone. Be gentle with yourself, take baby steps, and reach out when you are ready because help is here for you,” Siân says.
To find out more about StandBy – Support After Suicide visit www.standbysupport.com.au or www.facebook.com/standbysupportaftersuicide