Bereavement Counselling Service launches across Far West NSW
The Far West Local Health District is partnering with Lifeline Connect Broken Hill to deliver a Bereavement Counselling Service to the local community. The new service will provide counselling and individualised support to people experiencing difficulty following the death of a loved one.
Melissa Cumming, representative from Far West LHD said the Bereavement Counselling Service is a new service for the Far West and will commence on Monday, 4 September 2023.
“The new Bereavement Counselling Service will be run by Kim O’Donnell who has worked as a counsellor in various roles with non-government agencies over many years,” Ms Cumming said.
"The service will be available to people living within the Far West and will use a combination of face-to-face counselling when the counsellor is on site in Broken Hill, but also via telephone or video conferencing. The service will support people who have experienced the death of a loved one, however, it is not an emergency service.”
New Bereavement Counselling Service for the Far West (from left) Melissa Cumming FWLHD, Kim O’Donnell, Bereavement Counsellor and Lorna Woodward, Regional Coordinator LifeLine Connect.
Face-to-face counselling will be provided at the Lifeline Connect Centre in Broken Hill (194 Argent Street), on a periodic basis initially. Once established, travel to other areas in the district will be available and bereavement support groups set up.
Lorna Woodward, Regional Coordinator Lifeline Connect said Lifeline was excited to partner with the Far West LHD.
“This new service will provide the community with a much needed bereavement counselling service. Helping individuals to cope with the loss of someone close to them,” Ms Woodward said.
Self-referral to the service is encouraged, and a referral from a GP is not required. Agencies can refer to the Bereavement Counselling Service on behalf of someone else but consent from the person is required. Kim can also provide advice and education to organisations and community groups on loss and grief related to death.
After a death, when can bereavement counselling help?
- When you feel stuck in your grief, or your grief feels like it is getting worse over time.
- When your relationships with others seem to be affected in negative ways.
- You feel isolated in your grief experience.
- You have distressing, persistent memories about the illness or death.
- You are using alcohol or other substances as a way to numb or cope with your grief.
- When there are other challenging issues or emotions you would like to explore.
As of Monday 4 September 2023, referrals can be made Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm by phoning Lifeline Broken Hill on 08 8087 7525 or dropping into the Lifeline Connect Centre at 194 Argent St Broken Hill.