Posted on Apr 11, 2017
Chair: Telsa Stubna introduced two Guests from SAS
• Danny Keating — Chair of the Management Committee
• Melinda Hopper — Community Development Co-ordinator.

Danny Keating

• SAS Geelong stated January 2017 after much preparation following a public meeting in October 2015.
• Alliance with Hope Bereavement Services and SAS Melbourne (Jesuit Social Services)
• Initial support and funding from Freemasons Lodge Geelong.
• Mission to support the bereaved.
• Free counselling available two days per week — Counsellor Annie Norish.
• Intent to expand into other regions eventually.
• Mental Health facilities not coping with clients requiring care to prevent suicide.

Melinda Hopper

• There are 3,000 + suicides in Australia each year plus hidden suicides in the statistics for single vehicle road deaths and the elderly dying alone.
• Suicide is the leading cause of death in the 15-44 age group and for males 80 years and over.
• Counsellors from Barwon Health and SAS refer clients to complementary services — many operated by Barwon Health.
• SAS has a resource library.
• SAS support for the bereaved is also Suicide Prevention because there is an elevates suicide rate among the bereaved without any intervention.
• Decisions to suicide are not usually made on the “worst-coping” days; the decision is made in advance as a rational decision and the act postponed until another “worst” day occurs.
• The catalyst to act is often the perfect storm — the last straw.
• Counsellors and GPs are often not trained to assess the risks nor counsel grief.
• Gold Coast Health has a comprehensive approach to prevent and handle suicide.
President Daryll thanked our guest and presented them with a cheque