Directory of support services for bereaved families
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Line
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Line is a free-call telephone service to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Access Line is supported by the Medicare Liaison Officers for Indigenous Access who are culturally aware of the special conditions that may affect Indigenous people. w: www.humanservices.gov.au t: 1800 556 955
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Counselling Service
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Counselling Service (Gallang Place) is a stand-alone counselling service, developed around the specific social and cultural needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Gallang Place services Ipswich, Beaudesert, Logan, Brisbane, North Stradbroke Island, Deception Bay, Caboolture, Toowoomba and Bribie Island.
Queensland Government agencies can arrange free interpreters in AUSLAN and other sign languages through Deaf Services Queensland. AUSLAN connections provides specialist interpreting services across Australia with all profits reinvested in programs supporting the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement’s website provides grief and bereavement education and resources. Their mission is to build the capacity of individuals, organisations and communities in order to enhance well-being following adverse life events.
Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network
The Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (ACATLGN) is a network that works with a team of experts to bring together evidence-based resources and research to make them more accessible to those working with, or interested in, children and young people who have been affected by trauma and grief. w: www.earlytraumagrief.anu.edu.au/grief-and-loss e: email@example.com t: 02 6244 3500
Australian Leukodystrophy Support Group
The Australian Leukodystrophy Support Group (ALDS) provides a range of support to people affected by a leukodystrophy or leukoencephalopathy, and their family members and friends. In addition to volunteers who have experienced the impact of a leukodystrophy or leukoencephalopathy in their family, an ALDS part-time Family Advocate (social worker) can provide information, support and assist families to link in with local and other relevant services. w: www.leuko.org.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 1800 141 400
Australian Counselling Association
ACA is Australia’s largest single registration body for counsellors and psychotherapists with over 5,000 members. The below website has a search function which can be used to find a counsellor specialising in grief and trauma in a nearby location. The cost of these services may be covered under the Medicare Better Access Initiative. w: www.theaca.net.au/ t: 1300 784 333
Australian Psychological Society
The Australian Psychological Society (APS) provides an online search, telephone and email referral service to members of the public who are seeking the advice and assistance of a qualified and suitable APS psychologist in private practice.
The consultation fees that psychologists charge vary and further information regarding Medicare rebates for mental health services can be found at the below website or through the Medicare Better Access Initiative.
The Cancer Council Queensland offers a free telephone counselling service for people impacted by cancer and those close to them. The counselling team is made up of professionally trained psychologists who are experienced in helping people with cancer. This service can also refer you to Cancer Council Queensland support programs and community services. w: cancerqld.org.au t: 13 11 20
CanTeen assists young people aged 12-25 cope with a close family member’s cancer of their own. They provide specialist services for young people working through the death of a parent or sibling including:
Free and confidential counselling
Individual guidance and support
Secure 24/7 online community
Youth-friendly information resources about grief
Connect with other young people online
Peer support and programs
Recreation days (from half a day to a three-day program)
Centacare is the social services arm of the Catholic church in Australia. Centacare provides counselling services to families, individuals, children and young people and carers in Queensland. While Centacare is a catholic agency, they provide services to the entire community, regardless of religion, circumstance, ethnicity, economic, situation, age, gender or ability. Some support they provide includes:
Childhood Cancer Support aims to provide stability to the lives of children undergoing treatment for cancer and their families through the provision of specialised accommodation, emotional and financial support, transportation and recreational therapies. All regional families have equal access to accommodation and tailored family support services to help them cope when their child is diagnosed with cancer. Services they offer include:
Children’s Health Queensland Bereavement Support Program
The Bereavement Support program operates within the Paediatric Palliative Care Service (PPCS) at Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH), Brisbane. This is a statewide program that offers a range of free services to families whose child has died.
These services include:
Counselling or referral to service within the local community
A quarterly newsletter – ‘Living Forward’, mailed to bereaved families
Invitation to the Annual QCH ‘Remembrance Ceremony’
Useful information and resources for grieving parents and their families
Queensland Health provides resources and links to organisations which offer free counselling services with a social worker or psychologist. You may also wish to contact your GP, local community health centre or local council for further information regarding bereavement support. w: www.qld.gov.au/health/support/loss t: 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
The Compassionate Friends offers support in grief and trauma which follows the death of a child of any age or cause. The Compassionate Friends offer a range of free services to bereaved parents and families including:
National 24/7 telephone support 1300 064 068
Support group meetings
Country support groups
Telephone and email support
Grief information and library
Annual Candlelight Remembrance Service
Annual grief and loss seminars.
The Compassionate Friends has Chapters across Queensland. Contact the number below for a service near you.
Coronial Family Services is part of Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services. Skilled counsellors and social workers provide information and support to relatives and close friends of people whose deaths are being, or have been, investigated by a coroner. Coronial Family Services is based in Brisbane but provides assistance by phone to people outside Brisbane. t: 07 3096 2794 or 1800 449 171 e: email@example.com
Cystic Fibrosis Queensland
Cystic Fibrosis Queensland offers a supportive community for families of Cystic Fibrosis warriors past and present and offers referrals to counselling services for bereaved families.
Gateway Counselling is a Gateway Baptist Church service that offers a variety of counselling services to assist families in working through life’s challenges in a caring and supportive environment. They offer a broad range of counselling services including:
Grief and bereavement counselling
Bereaved parent’s support group
Marriage and family counselling
Wholeness services (naturopathy and massage therapy)
Harrison’s Little Wings is a multi-layered service provider for families who have an extreme risk pregnancy or receive a poor diagnosis in pregnancy. Harrison’s Little Wings believe each family is unique and requires a different support services while they are pregnant. They provide the following:
Practical support for families such as house cleaning, yard maintenance, babysitting etc.
Resource packs, containing information for families to encourage conversations with their families and care providers about potential pathways.
Peer support program: they have a Brisbane based face-to-face peer support meeting and for those families who are not local to Brisbane they offer online closed pages
Liaise with health professionals
Treasured memories: families may want to take the time to create special memories and Harrison’s Little Wings assists families with hand and feet moulds, photography and Cami bears to be treasured forever.
Hummingbird House is Queensland’s only children’s hospice and provides short break stays, family support services, creative therapies and care at the end of life for children with life-limiting conditions and their families as well as bereavement care and support for families following the death of a child. w: hummingbirdhouse.org.au t: 07 3621 4364 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Lang Courage Workshops
Karen Lang, a bereaved parent and counsellor, created monthly Courage Workshops to support parents who face the death of a child. It’s a place where you can feel safe and supported as you share your feelings of grief and loss. It’s a place where you will gain strategies and knowledge that will empower you in your grief and give you hope for the future. It’s a place to connect with other parents and discover there is a way through. Services offered include:
The Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland offers grief and support services and resources for individuals and families across Queensland who have lost a loved one to a blood disorder such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. If you, your partner or your family members are struggling with bereavement issues, please phone during normal business hours (Monday to Friday) to organise grief counselling or obtain further information on support services and programs. Services offered include:
Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour support and suicide prevention services via phone and online crisis support chat. For Lifeline services within your community, please refer to UnitingCare Community in this directory. Lifeline provides access to resources online. w: www.lifeline.org.au t: 13 11 14
Mucopolysaccharide and Related Diseases Society Australia
The Mucopolysaccharide and Related Diseases Society Australia Ltd (MPS) supports individuals, their families and friends affected with MPS and related diseases. The society aims to provide information and support to those directly and indirectly affected by MPS, primarily through information and resources, family support, community awareness and advocacy. w: www.mpssociety.org.au t: 1800 045 515 e: email@example.com
MensLine Australia provides resources and support services for men with family and relationship concerns via phone, online and video counselling and online forums. The service is staffed by paid professionals counsellors experienced in men’s issues. w: www.mensline.org.au t: 1300 789 978
National Relay Service
The National Relay Service provides an Australia-wide phone and internet call service for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. It is also available to anyone who wants to call a person with a hearing or speech impairment.
Paradise Kids offers a range of individual and group support programs and counselling services for children affected by grief, loss and trauma. Paradise Kids offer a variety of face-to-face support services at the Gold Coast. Their free services include:
Individual grief counselling for children and their families
Parentline is confidential telephone counselling which aims to support parents and carers of children between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm, seven days a week. Parentline counsellors are trained to provide web, email and telephone counselling. Parents, carers and family members have direct access to qualified counsellors and can choose to speak with either a male or female counsellor. Callers are also able to arrange to call back and speak with the same counsellor to work through any issues or questions they may have. w: www.parentline.com.au t: 1300 30 1300
Pillars of Strength
Pillars of Strength supports dads who have experienced a stillbirth or have lost their child through infancy or in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), by providing them with ‘time out’. The Time Out program offers fathers an opportunity to attend sporting and fitness activities or events with mates, family members or other fathers who have experienced a similar situation. The Time Out program gives fathers their own time and the ability to reconnect with their support network without formally asking for help. w: www.pillarsofstrength.com.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Precious Wings provides the gift of a memory box that seeks to bring comfort to grieving families when they have lost a baby or child of any age or gestation. The creation of the boxes by other bereaved families in memory of their own child provides a special place to keep precious memories and is something beautiful to hold onto when leaving hospital with empty arms. w: www.preciouswings.org e: email@example.com
Red Nose is a charity that aims to eradicate sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Red Nose provides free resources and support services to individuals, couples, families and children who are affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child up to six years of age.
68 Creek Road, Mt Gravatt QLD 4122 w: www.rednose.com.au t: 1300 998 698 (head office) or 1300 308 307 (24-hour grief and loss support line)
Relationships Australia is a community-based not-for-profit organisation that provides counselling to couples, individuals and families to help enhance and support relationships and assist those experiencing grief. Their team specialises in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in diverse services and locations across Queensland. The organisation operates in a number of regions. w: www.raq.org.au t: 1300 364 277
The Salvation Army provides a number of free services to families who may be experiencing financial or emotional difficulties and can assist with the following:
Counselling care line
Referral and support to people in personal and financial crisis.
There are numerous Salvation Army services located throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Contact the number below to be directed to your nearest branch. w: www.salvos.org.au t: 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or 1300 363 622 (Salvo Care Line)
Scarlett May Foundation
The Scarlett May Foundation is a non-for-profit organisation that supports families with critically ill children in hospital. They support families by providing:
Families with healthy and nutritious meals during their hospital stay
On-going counselling services
Funding for parents to purchase keepsakes of their passed child.
SKATTLE stands for Supporting Kids and Teens Through Life-changing Experiences and supports children, teenagers and their families through difficult times arising from illness, grief and loss, and family separation. They aim to facilitate growth by recognising, nurturing, developing and utilising the knowledge, strengths, skills and expertise of the kids and families that we work with. This is achieved using processes that are respectful, collaborative, non-discriminatory and family inclusive. SKATTLE provides both individual and group counselling sessions throughout Brisbane.
Sudden and Neonatal Death Syndrome (SANDS) Queensland provides free support, information, education and advocacy for Queensland parents and families of infants who have passed during pregnancy, at birth or soon after. Services include:
A 24-hour parent support phone line
Online support groups
Publications and resources for parents, families and friends
Providing personalised Smiley Reilly Experience packs that are tailor made to each individual family. Every pack we put together for a family is unique, filled with love from people and organisations far and wide, and aims to encourage families to step out into the world of fun, laughter and light. A step that for a bereaved family can be a very difficult one to take. w: www.thesmileyreillyproject.org e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Translating and Interpreting Service
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) can assist you if you need to speak with someone in a language other than English. It is a national service that provides 24-hour access to interpreters across Australia, speaking more than 170 languages and dialects. w: www.tisnational.gov.au t: 131 450 or 1800 131 450 (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)
In Queensland, Lifeline services are operated by UnitingCare Community. UnitingCare is the health and community service provider of the Uniting Church. UnitingCare provides free counselling (no referral required) in the following locations: w: www.unitingcare.org.au t: Broadbeach 07 5579 6000 t: Bundaberg 07 4153 8400 t: Caboolture 07 5428 4200 t: Cairns 07 4050 4955 t: Capalaba 07 3823 9400 t: Chermside 07 3624 2400 t: Hervey Bay 07 4191 3100 t: Ipswich 07 3816 9600 t: Mackay 07 4944 2300 t: Maroochydore 07 5409 2600 t: Maryborough 07 4122 9000 e: email@example.com
Young Minds is a leading UK charity which provides information on improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Their website provides resources that may be helpful in assisting your child during their grief. w: youngminds.org.uk
Child, Adolescent and Family Support
Bereavement, grief and loss
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Information and Support