Hope and Healing after a Suicide programme coming to Rotorua
10/09/2020 8:53:05 a.m.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Hope and Healing after a Suicide programme comes to Rotorua 

L-R: Deidre Orford and Derryn Hyde from Family Focus in Rotorua and Suzy Taylor, Lakes DHB Suicide Postvention Consultant have come together to offer support through the WAVES Programme.

A free educational programme to help people cope with grief after suicide is coming to Rotorua.

Open to adults 17 years old and over, WAVES is facilitated by professional counsellors and educators, who have their own lived experience of suicide loss.

Suzy, Deidre and Derryn will facilitate the first programme starting on Wednesday 14 October at Family Focus, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

The eight-week programme is open to anyone who is bereaved by suicide and feels they may need extra support.
It has been running in other regions for several years and draws on research by Victoria University educational psychology lecturer Dr Chris Bowden. Members will be able to share their experiences, discuss the nature of suicide and gain information about how to care for themselves and others after a suicide.

In 2016, Suzy lost her daughter Georgia, to suicide and says as a family they were left alone to deal with the tragedy.

"At the time there was nothing like this available" says Suzy.

"There is a strong need to address the anger, the blame, the shock, the lost moments, the denial and the searching for why. The stigma associated with suicide can also be particularly upsetting,” she said.

Two years after Georgia’s death, Suzy found the WAVES programme that was offered in Tauranga.

“As a group member, I found it quite a trek driving there and back for the eight weeks of the course, but definitely worth it. And I’m pleased that we can now bring this to our own region.”

Co-facilitator and counsellor Deidre says the ripple effects from the trauma of a suicide are far reaching. It has touched her life, that of her family, friends, past and present colleagues.

"It has deeply affected me and people I love,” said Deidre.

"I have witnessed the crippling emotions of grief, guilt and despair that are ever present after a suicide and I feel passionate about supporting people to navigate the turmoil they find themselves in. It is imperative that a service like this is available for people to have access to support when the time is right for them.

“When a loved one, or someone we know has died by suicide it can be a lonely and confusing time. This programme will offer the opportunity for people to be in a safe environment with others who have lived experiences of suicide,” added Deidre.

Derryn says that after the loss of a workmate to suicide, he was left with a lot of questions, including why he didn’t pick up that his workmate was going to end his life. He says he still has a sense of guilt, and can still remember his last shift with him and that was over 20 years ago.

“Being able to talk to people about my feelings so helped me with my healing. I have also had suicidal thoughts and felt the loneliness and hopelessness of my situation. And I saw the effect it had on my wife, children, friends, and family,” said Derryn.

The three say they are committed to the kaupapa for the workshops and to make sure they can help others in need of support.

The number of participants is limited to 10 people per Wednesday evening session. Suzy says it enhances the opportunity for a safe, trusting environment to share thoughts and feelings.

For more information contact Suzy @ Postvention@lakesdhb.govt.nz for more details.