Young need suicide support help says Anglicare


Anglicare WA suicide/
bereavement counsellor Anita Nodwell.
Anglicare WA suicide/ bereavement counsellor Anita Nodwell.

ANGLICARE has been given funds by the State government to help set up a program which helps support children and young people bereaved by suicide.

The organisation will receive $720,000 over the next three years for the support of children and youth aged six to 18 who have lost a significant person in their life to suicide.

The service is the first of its kind in Australia and the specific activities include professional counselling, psycho-education and peer support.

As part of the service, professional counselling will be offered to young people, children and or their families by professional staff members who are qualified and experienced in grief and loss.

Regular psycho-educational sessions will also be offered to young people with consideration given to age, stage of grief, and developmental appropriateness.

Peer supporters will help with the normalisation of complicated grief associated with suicide.

Executive general manager of service operations Mark Glasson said the death of a parent of sibling was one of the most fundamental losses a child or parent ever has.

Anglicare currently has locations in Gosnells, Maddington and Armadale.

“We run other suicide responses across the state,” he said.

The service was important as children whose parents have committed suicide were four times more likely than the average child in the community to commit suicide themselves.

“I just think for me the issue is there are a lot of people who die by suicide in WA and people close to them need our help and support,” he said,

Mr Glasson thanked the Mental Health Commission for funding the project, which he said they applied for about three months ago.

It is expected to be operational next month.