Day to unite over tragic loss of loved ones

THE Derwent Valley Suicide Awareness Group will be holding the sixth annual Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Event at Arthur Square on Saturday, November 26, commencing at 11 am. Survivors of suicide loss will come together to find connection and understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

The guest speaker this year will be Tim Size, Captain, Derwent Valley Salvation Army Corps. Julie Triffett, a member of the DVSAG, said that survivors of suicide loss might feel isolated and friends and family may not know how to comfort and support them “sometimes people find it hard to talk about when they have lost someone to suicide, whether it’s recent or a long time ago. “It is an emotional day, but people go away feeling stronger.’’

Group member Sister Carmel spoke of the broader impacts of losing someone to suicide. “It’s not just the adults, but children are affected as well and not only in the immediate family,” she said. In 2017, the group planted a bed of white roses in the gardens at Arthur Square. It’s an important garden to local community members who have lost loved ones, friends and relatives to suicide. The garden provides a focal point for the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event.

The DVSAG aims to raise awareness about suicide prevention, particularly about how to recognise warning signs. They meet four times each year. “We are not counsellors but we support community members who are referred to us by the ambulance service and churches,’’ Ms Triffitt said. “We connect them with the StandBy Support After Suicide service.”

Membership is open to community members who have experienced suicide loss or anyone who would like to support their work.

“We are very fortunate to be supported by Magra Fire Brigade without whose assistance we would not be able to carry out our important work” said Celia Hooker, group member and priest at the Anglican Church. For more information on DVSAG please contact: Julie Triffett on 0488 163 025 or Matt Hill on 0459 096 003.