The video series is designed to sit alongside the recently published Support Groups for Suicide Loss handbook, providing individuals with practical steps to set up and run a suicide bereavement peer support group in their area.
“Every death by suicide is a tragedy,” MHF chief executive Shaun Robinson says. “Suicide bereavement can be especially hard to cope with. Loved ones often feel heartbroken, angry, confused and hopeless.
“Suicide bereavement support groups give people the opportunity to share their experience of grief and loss. They’re safe spaces to share stories of loved ones, and give recently bereaved people the chance to talk to others who have learned to live with their loss and develop strategies to cope.”
The videos feature experienced peer support facilitators, Rose Allan, Warren Brown, Michele Elliott and Mark Wilson sharing their advice and experience helping others establish their own groups, especially in areas of New Zealand that don’t already have one.
“One of the differences of a suicide death to other deaths is, the conversation tends to stop very early on,” Mark Wilson says. “People don’t want to talk about your loved one. And the great thing about a support group is you can talk about them.”
There are practical steps on how to get started, how to practise self-care, as well as beautiful moments of reflection.
In the videos, Michelle Elliot reflects that the success of these support groups is measured by the connections bereaved people make with each other. “That means so much to me, that we’re making a difference,” she says.
The video resources are available to watch for free on YouTube, along with a downloadable version of the handbook. If you're running a support group, or interested in setting one up, you can contact us for more information, resources and advice.
For further information or comment, contact:
Programme Engagement Specialist
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
Ph: 021 676 322