Christmas Newsletter – December 2018

AnchorFrom the Desk of the National Secretary

Dear Friends,
It is this time of the year again. How quickly this year has gone.For many of you, holidays may be a difficult time for you and your family. Remember that there is no wrong or right way to express your grief – it is different for every person and you just do what feels right for you. You may wish to incorporate ways to remember and honour your loved one into your traditions, or take time out from the celebrations to care for yourself, or you may wish to cancel the holidays for this year – be kind to yourself and surround yourself with people whom you love and validate your loss. And if you are needing help, please reach out (links and support lines at the bottom of the newsletter).It has been a great year for Postvention Australia. There are many challenges to face as we look to 2019. Postvention Australia – the National Association for the Bereaved by Suicide – needs a better platform to speak on behalf of the bereaved by suicide in Australia.Through the Walk for Life, postvention has been brought to the national consciousness and has given Postvention Australia an opportunity to bring about better outcomes for those impacted by a suicide. Meeting all the amazing people on the Walk for Life has really hit home for me that the impact of suicide has a far-reaching ripple effect and touches all groups in Australia. It further emphasises that there is still great need to support those who are grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide.

It is a challenge for Postvention Australia to bring about change and support the bereaved by suicide in 2019. Postvention is prevention.

Prof. Diego de Leo, Prof. Ian Webster and the Board of Postvention Australia wish you all the compliments of the season.

May you each find peace and happiness at this time and throughout 2019.

Kind regards,
Alan Staines OAM OF
National Secretary

Postvention Australia

Three C’s for Holiday Grief

For those who are grieving, the holidays can be unfamiliar terrain. The holiday period is filled with fond remembrances of loved ones who are on your mind yet absent from your traditions and rituals. Acknowledging the difficulties of holidays after loss does not make a potentially difficult time any easier, but preparing for the holidays by tapping into helpful coping strategies may provide some much-needed help.

Read more

Grief and the Holidays – Advice for the Bereaved

The concept that “Holidays are time spent with loved ones” is engrained into our culture. Holidays mark the passage of time in our lives. They are part of the milestones we share with each other, generally representing time spent with family. They bring meaning to certain days and we bring much meaning back to them.

But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with them when a loved one has died? For many people, this is the hardest part of grieving, when we miss our loved ones even more than usual. How can you celebrate togetherness when there is none? When you have lost someone special, your world loses its celebratory qualities. Holidays only magnify the loss. The sadness feels sadder and the loneliness goes deeper. The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays. Pretending you don’t hurt and or it is not a harder time of the year is just not the truth for you. You can and will get through the holidays. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into them. It is not the grief you want to avoid, it is the pain. Grief is the way out of the pain. Grief is our internal feelings and mourning is our external expressions. There are a number of ways to incorporate your loved one and your loss into the holidays.

Read more

Highlights from Al’s Walk for Life

Envoy Alan Staines OAM OF, 86 years young, National Secretary of Postvention Australia, committed to walking over 320km from Canberra to Sydney over 28 days to raise community awareness throughout Australia of the urgent need to provide support for those impacted by suicide. Too many are falling between the cracks are receiving no help at all.  He visited 14 towns, providing information on suicide bereavement and how to support bereaved friends, as well as the local/national support services available.

Support Alan and the Walk for Life by giving generously this Christmas. Please donate here:

More details and photos from the Walk

Building Hope Together

The Journey After Suicide

The 6th Australian Postvention Conference
13 – 15 June 2019 | Sydney Masonic Centre

Postvention Australia and the Conference Committee are pleased to announce that registration and call for abstracts for the 6th Australian Postvention Conference are now open.

Abstract submissions close Friday 8th February 2019. More information can be found on the conference website:

The 2019 Conference focuses on building hope together through the three main conference themes – encouraging resilience, incorporating lived experience and facilitating collaboration between stakeholders. The conference encourages the sharing and discussion of ideas, stories and research to bring positive outcomes for the postvention sector. This conference brings together those bereaved by suicide, trauma victims and survivors, Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, defence force services, emergency services and individuals/organisations working the field of suicide bereavement, trauma and loss.

Conference speakers and more here

QPR Online Training Programs

QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer – these 3 simple steps educate anyone to learn the indicators that can help save a life from suicide. Just as people are trained in CPR that help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognise the warning signs of a suicide crisis and understand how to question, persuade and refer someone to help.

The QPR Institute Australia provides Australians in a range of professions with a wide variety of training courses developed by clinical psychologist, Dr Paul Quinnett and his team of experts. Courses available by QPR Institute Australia include:

  • The QPR Gatekeeping Training for Suicide Prevention course, which is designed to inform and upskill the general public in being able to intervene appropriately to assist people who are at risk of suicide
  • The Suicide Triage Training course, which is designed to suit youth workers, school and career guidance counsellors, pastoral care workers, mental health case managers and other welfare professionals
  • Customised professional courses, which are designed to meet the practice needs of specific health and welfare professionals including nurses, GPs, veterans, pharmacists, correction officers, law enforcement officers, emergency medical services, sports coaches, clergy, and other allied health professionals.

For further information:
QPR Institute Australia website:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0412 164 575 | Office: 1300 02 4357

If in crisis or in need of counselling, please contact the following telephone lines:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (24 hour phone counselling)
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800 (24 hour phone counselling)
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (Professional call back service referral line operates seven days a week)
  • Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 (24 hour phone counselling and referral)
  • Veterans Line 1800 011 046 (after hours professional telephone crisis counselling for veterans and their families)

For and on behalf of:

The Board of the Postvention Australia

Alan (Direct): 0412 164 575
Office: 1300 02 4357
[email protected]

Copyright © 2018 Postvention Australia, All rights reserved.


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