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During 2020 more than 600 families across Aotearoa were affected by suicide of a loved one. Every suicide death is a tragedy and the impacts are wide reaching and devastating for family and whānau, friends and communities

Waves is an eight week programme that aims to support adults aged 18 and older who have been bereaved by suicide.

The programme combines learning about suicide and bereavement, with group discussion and support. The group is facilitated by two trained facilitators over eight weeks and supports members to:

  • meet and share with others who are also experiencing the impact of suicide
  • explore aspects of their grief and reduce isolation and stigma associated with bereavement by suicide in a safe and supportive environment
  • get information and strategies about how to care for themselves and others (including children and young people), after a suicide
  • adjust to living with loss and moving forward.

Overview of sessions

Session 1: Introduction
Participants get to know facilitators and other group members, and set guidelines for working together.

Session 2: Understanding the grieving process
Participants look at their grief experience, and the common and unique aspects of grief reactions.

Session 3: The effects of grief and suicide
The group explores how suicide and grief have affected the many dimensions of their lives.

Session 4: Living with ‘Why?’ and managing the hard times
Putting suicide into perspective and seeing it as just one event in their lives, not necessarily the defining event.

Session 5: Helping others through the hard times
Practical strategies for helping others through hard times, and information about how suicide affects others.

Session 6: Healing and new beginnings
Skills for healing and maintaining healthy connections with loved ones.

Session 7: Looking ahead
Sharing strategies for rebuilding and re-organising their lives so they can regain a focus on life and the future.

Session 8: Closure, feedback and evaluation
Finishing the work the group has been doing and providing feedback.

For Waves group contacts in the Tasman region please email [email protected]

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