Bereavement Support Groups
What are bereavement support groups?
Support groups is a meeting of people who gather together to share information, experiences or concerns. Support groups provide a forum for emotional, practical and moral support. The bereavement support groups at the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) are a therapeutic, inclusive and supportive space to share common grief experiences.
"The strength of support groups are in the connections and understandings that come from shared narratives"
Benefits of Bereavement Support Groups
A support group is a place where individuals can be together and support one another. Not everyone will find a support group helpful as each individual grieves in his or her own way. For many however, support groups have many benefits such as:
Grief is experience in so many ways - physically, emotionally, socially, psychologically or spiritually. Bereaved individuals sometimes need a place to recognise that the reactions they have are part of the grief experience. Being with other grieving people can reaffirm that.
For many people, a support group can be a break from the loneliness or isolation that often accompanies grief.
Suggestions for coping
There is no single solution for coping with loss, but members of a support group can offer a range of suggestions. By listening to stories of how others cope, individuals may find some ideas that might help.
Participation in a support group can help a grieving person find new understandings. develop strengths and instil hope.
Who can join?
Our support groups are for anyone who has experienced a death related loss. The current support groups offer support for different types of bereavements and are outline below. During 2021 we began offering a new group to support those effected by death related loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To join a Support Group call ACGB on (03) 92652100 of Freecall 1800 642 066 to discuss current vacancies and organise an intake appointment with one of our friendly intake workers.
For the COVID-19 Support Group please call 1800 22 22 00 to find out more information or make an intake appointment.
When and where do the groups meet?
ACGB provides bereavement support groups in Mulgrave, Springvale and Notting Hill. Currently, due to COVID-19, the majority of the groups are held using an online platform. The only exception is Bereavement at the Bar (Please see below).
What is the format of the groups?
Support Groups can be either:
Open - where new participants can join anytime.
Closed - where the group runs for a set number of sessions with the same participants.
The groups consist of between 8-12 people who meet together either monthly or fortnightly. All ACGB groups are held by Specialist Bereavement Counsellors and trained facilitators. The groups are non-religious, non denominational, and cultural sensitive, with a focus on inclusion.
The groups will be conducted online during 2022 and there is currently no fee for service.
The 2022 Groups offered by ACGB are:
Talking Grief Support Group
Talking Grief is an open group for women and men 65+ who have experienced a bereavement. Each month the group meets online and offers a social and supportive environment where memories, experiences and challenges can be shared. Talking Grief is held on Wednesday mornings monthly from 10:30am-12:00noon.
Bereaved Partners Remembrance Group
The Bereaved Partners Remembrance Group will be a closed group (all members begin and finish the group at the same time) running for six weeks (biweekly sessions) only. It is a model that values stories and love as transformative for the living. Through the power of storytelling, strength is burrowed from the dead that enriches the living and transports them to new places. Conversations in groups can create remarkable new meanings, strengthen resilience and restore identities. The group meets online on Monday evenings from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.
Kids Grieve Too (KG2)
Kids Grieve Too (KG2) is a closed support group program for children aged 6-12 years. it is a caring and supportive group which assist children to explore and express their grief in creative ways. The emphasis is on helping bereaved children develop skills and strengths to adapt to their loss. KG2 is held online fortnightly on Tuesday evenings from 5:00pm - 6:00pm.
Parent Remembrance Group
ACGB offers a closed support group for adults of all ages who are grieving the death of a parent. It is a social and supportive group where memories, experiences and challenges can be shared. The Parent Remembrance group meets online fortnightly on Wednesday evenings from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.
Bereavement at the Bar - Dates and Venue to be Confirmed
The Bereavement at the Bar Support Group is held for men to meet in a relaxed atmosphere of a pub. A meal is often shared; however, no alcohol is consumed during the meeting. Bereavement at the Bar is held once a month on a Monday evening.
"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).
Bereaved Fathers Support Group
The Bereaved Fathers Support Group is an open group where fathers who have experienced the death of a child of any age meet online to discuss common issues and support each other. It is a group where memories, experiences and challenges can be shared. Bereaved Fathers meets on a Wednesday evening monthly from 5:00pm - 6:30pm.
COVID-19 Bereavement Support Group - Dates and Times to be Confirmed
The Covid 19 Bereavement group has been established to support people who are grieving the death of someone they care about due to COVID-19 pandemic. The group is designed to offer support to anyone who has been adversely impacted by a COVID-19 related death of by the complexities of the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. The group will be held online monthly.