Lifeline Mid Coast offers Eclipse suicide support program in 2018

ECLIPSE: CEO of Lifeline Mid Coast Catherine Vaara and life matters coordinator Lee-ann Foord say the Eclipse program can really help. Photo: Ivan Sajko.
ECLIPSE: CEO of Lifeline Mid Coast Catherine Vaara and life matters coordinator Lee-ann Foord say the Eclipse program can really help. Photo: Ivan Sajko.

Those who have attempted suicide often feel like they are stuck, surrounded by darkness and completely alone but Lifeline Mid Coast is trying to help by facilitating a group bonding program for suicide attempt survivors.

Mid Coast Lifeline chief executive officer Catherine Vaara and her team noticed a gap in support services locally for people who have attempted suicide.

“We had a member of the public come and approach us saying that she had been suicidal on many occasions and needed help, and wanted to stay alive,” Ms Vaara said.

“So from that, Life Matters coordinator, Lee-ann Foord and the local suicide prevention network did some research and found an organisation in the United States that had just gone through organising a group similar to Eclipse and ask for assistance.

“So Lifeline Mid Coast got involved with that organisation and they were very generous in sharing resources and information with us which has evolved into the Eclipse program.”

The eight week program – specifically designed for adults who have survived a suicide attempt – is a free, confidential program where people can come and see they are not alone.

“Many times when someone is thinking of suicide there are three emotions that are strongly involved; one of feeling very hopeless, one of feeling like a burden to friends and family and one of being disconnected – they cant find a connection with other people,” she said.

“So this group is primarily about helping people rediscover hope and rediscovering connections with friends, family and colleagues.

“You are looking at people who have attempted suicide and it is very difficult for them to come back into work or family because everyone is on edge and unsure about how to treat that person.

“So this is a safe place for them to come in and explore their thoughts around suicide and get some bonding with others who can understand where they are.”

Ms Foord said the next program will commence on April 3 in Port Macquarie.

“This will be the fourth time we have run this program on the Mid Coast, and it is open to people right across the Hastings and the Mid North Coast who have survived a suicide attempt,” Ms Foord said.

“The program will run for eight consecutive weeks focusing on a different theme each week with qualified facilitators leading the sessions.”

To sign up to the program contact Lifeline Mid Coast 6581 2800.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline 24 hours 7 days a week on 13 11 14,  or visit lifeline.org.au.

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