CYPRESS: Children and
Young People Responsive
CYPRESS: Children & Young People Responsive Suicide Support
This article talks about suicide and its impact. If it raises any issues for you, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 to seek support.
At Anglicare WA we do all we can to work towards wholeness.
We believe that it is possible for anyone to find healing and wholeness with the right support and resources. Even in the face of the greatest trauma and loss.
One instance of this is the loss of a loved one to suicide. In Australia, nine people die by suicide each day. That is more than the road toll. For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends and first responders at the time of death (source Lifeline) bereaved by suicide face a painful and challenging journey to survive their loss. Due to the stigma our society still associates with suicide, accessing helpful non-judgemental supports and having permission to talk and grieve openly about their loss can be difficult.
CYPRESS (Children & Young People REsponsive Suicide Support) provides counselling and outreach within Perth Metro for young people aged 6-18 yrs. who have been bereaved by suicide.
Our skilled and dedicated counsellors journey with their young clients through this trauma and loss, supporting them to grieve and find healthy ways to express themselves as they try to make meaning of their loss by suicide.
Tamara and Cade are two young people who have accessed CYPRESS counselling and have willingly shared some of their insights with you.
Grief is a cage you have been captured in ... being stuck in a mindset.
The only way you can free yourself from the cage is to find the key.
You have to find the key
There are many keys to the cage – you need to find the key that works for you.
My key has been Remembering Memories – the good times and the rough times.
My key has been Hearing Memories – from people who knew him when he was younger and when he was older.
My key has been Family – the family I live with and family who live far away and I visit.
My key has been Making new Memories – in special places with special people.
My key has been Friends – support and having fun.
My key has been Being Loved, knowing that I am not isolated and that others can help.
My key has been Positive Thought – I can learn how to do this, He is still in my life and I have lots of things to look forward to.
By Tamara (14 years)
A LETTER TO MR INCREDIBLE
By Cade (12 years) about asking for help
Dear Mr Incredible,
I’m writing to you because I’ve seen you have a problem asking for help.
This worries me because if you don’t know how to ask for help, you might find yourself in trouble and think you have no support when you always do.
I know you think you have to be tough and do things on your own. Men sometimes feel like they shouldn’t ask for help because people might think less of them or think that they are weak. I don’t think this is true but I do think it can be hard to ask for help.
It takes a lot of courage to summon the power to get thoughts out of our heads and ask for help if we are in trouble. You don’t always have to be incredible! You don’t have to always be the strong man people expect you to be. You can allow yourself to be vulnerable – you can let your guard down. You don’t need to keep the barrier up of your own self-righteousness. This barrier cuts men and boys off from others and the rest of the world. This is not something I want for you. I want you to be safe and not under fire by your own dark thoughts and worries.
I reckon that your kids might like to see your toughness and strength cause that can help them to feel safe and protected. But they would also want to see you use your strength to ask for help. This gift to your kids would show them that being incredible doesn’t mean being strong on your own. It means accepting the strength of others. We are stronger together with others. This is what makes incredibleness and helps us to grow even stronger.
All of this arises from long and patient engagement between CYPRESS counsellor and those who have experienced loss through suicide. It can be heartbreaking and incredibly heartening, but we know at Anglicare WA that wholeness and healing is possible with the right support and resources.
Alongside this important work Anglicare WA offers the ARBOR (Active Response Bereavement Outreach) providing counselling and support for adults bereaved by suicide.
How to access CYPRESS AND ARBOR
If you are in crisis and require support immediately, please phone:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14 or
- Samaritans on 135 247.
Referrals to CYPRESS and ARBOR are open to agencies, schools, churches, individuals, families and friends:
- Contact Anglicare WA during business hours on 1300 114 446
- Visit the Mental Health and Suicide Postvention page of Anglicare WA
- For information and ideas to support young people bereaved by suicide visit the CYPRESS