Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell today announced Western Australia would establish the nation's first service to provide long-term support for children and young people bereaved by suicide.
Ms Mitchell said the Liberal National Government had allocated $720,000 over three years to Anglicare to support children and youth aged six to 18 who had lost a significant person in their life to suicide.
"This service is the first of its kind in Australia and is based on extensive research into the mental and emotional development and experience of children and young people," she said.
"We know children and young people grieve differently from adults and they revisit their grief as they experience developmental milestones.
"Statistics show a child or young person who loses a parent to suicide is three times more likely to take their own life, so it is vital they are able to access appropriate care, non-judgemental support and help."
Because of the sensitive and unique nature of the service, the program will operate only in metropolitan Perth for three years to ensure the model is effective and appropriate.
"Evidence shows that group-based support is the most effective for these children and young people, and the service will provide regular workshops in small groups by specialists in child development and grief counselling," the Minister said.
"A complementary counselling service for parents and guardians will enable them to be better equipped to support the child or young person with their bereavement."
For each person who takes their life by suicide, on average, six people experience intense grief
The service is for children who have been bereaved by the suicide of a significant person in their life including parents, siblings, close relatives or friends
Minister's office - 6552 5400