Bereavement Support Groups
I felt the group was fantastic for me. It was very hard, but it was great to be with people who were feeling the same things I was feeling.
What are bereavement support groups?
Support groups are a way of bringing people together in a safe space to share common life experiences. They provide a forum for participants to communicate in a mutual understanding of shared challenges and problems.
The strength of support groups lie in the connections and understandings that come from shared narratives.
Bereavement support groups provide ongoing help to participants in various ways, including:
- normalising the grief journey
- listening and sharing personal experiences
- creating social networks and reducing feelings of isolation
- discovering personal strengths and building resilience
- providing relevant information.
Who can join?
These groups are for anyone who has suffered the death of a loved one, whether that loved one be a child, a young person, parent, sibling, a close relative, friend, neighbour, or work colleague. ACGB offer groups for different ages, and therefore cater to meet the varying needs of adults, children and young people.
When and where do the groups meet?
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) runs bereavement support groups in various locations in and around South East Melbourne.
What is the format of the groups?
Groups can be either open, ongoing groups (where new participants can join at any time), or they can take the form of a closed group, in which the group runs for a set number of weeks with the same participants present every week. Groups will usually consist of up to 12 people who meet together regularly to talk over their experiences. Experienced facilitators will be present to assist the group. The groups are non-religious and non-denominational.
Groups ACGB Offer
To join a Support Group in 2019, please call the Centre on 1800 642 066 to discuss current vacancies.
Coffee & Chat Support Group
The Coffee & Chat group is for women and men 50+ who have experienced the death of a loved one.
Each month the Group meets as a social and supportive group where memories, experiences and challenges are shared to help work through our grief experiences. Coffee & Chat is run by a Specialist Bereavement Counsellor from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.
The group meets at the Centre for Care and Wellness at Springvale Botanical Cemetery with ample parking available.
ACGB offers two bereaved partners support groups, Younger Bereaved Partners (YBP) and Bereaved Partners (50+). These groups are designed to support those seeking help after the death of a partner. These groups are caring, understanding and supportive and run by a Specialist Bereavement Counsellor from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement. These groups are for men and women and meet monthly. These groups are held in Springvale (YBP) and Ferntree Gully (50+).
Kids Grieve Too (KG2)
Kids Grieve Too (KG2) is a support group program for children aged 6-12 years old run by the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, which is designed to meet the special needs of bereaved children. A caring and supportive environment is provided to assist children to explore and express their experiences of grief and to develop the resilience and resources they need to manage their bereavement experience.
In KG2, children will have the opportunity to connect with other bereaved children and explore and express their experiences of bereavement in a variety of creative ways. Each session is based on a different theme (e.g. my family, feelings, dreams, memories, staying connected etc.) Children can create paintings, drawings, memory boxes, dream catchers, collages and poetry that express their grief in very powerful ways.
KG2 is held monthly at the Wellness Centre at Springvale Botanical Cemetery.
Death of a Parent (DOP)
ACGB offers a support group for adults who are grieving the death of a parent. The group offers participants an opportunity to find that special understanding that comes from talking to people who have shared a similar experience. The group meets each month as a social and supportive group where memories, experiences and challenge are shared to help work through the grief experience. The group is run by a Specialist Bereavement Counsellor from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement. The group is held at the ACGB office in Mulgrave, Victoria.
Bereavement at the Bar
ACGB offer a group which meets the specific needs of bereaved men. 'Bereavement at the Bar' meets once a month in a relaxed atmosphere of a pub. The group often share a mean, however no alcohol is consumed during the meeting. The group is run by a specialist bereavement counsellor from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement. "There are many reasons why our group is attended - companionship, conversation, even just to hang out. The conversation is varied and spritely- over the course of the evening we frequently cover as much about our present feelings as we do politics, history and geography." (Mark Dean, Group Facilitator). The aim of Bereavement at the Bar is to enable men to feel a freedom to grieve and to be open with emotions.
New Groups in 2019
Grief Stuff is for young people aged 13 to 17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Grief Stuff is new to ACGB in 2019 and will be held in Fitzroy North at night for five sessions between January and March 2019. Grief Stuff will be a closed group and participants are encouraged to attend all five sessions.
Grief Space has been created for young adults aged 17 to 28 who have experienced the death of someone close to them and who are looking to meet with others who can accompany and encourage them in their journeys of grief. Grief Space is a closed group running for seven nightly sessions between March and May 2019.
Download the Bereavement Support Group Brochure