If you need immediate support or are experiencing a crisis, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, who are available 24/7. 

Have you ever thought about joining a grief support group? It can be helpful to connect with people going through the same journey as you and can help the healing process after losing a loved one.

Your friends care about you and are there to talk through your grief, but it can be difficult for them to relate if they’ve never experienced loss and grief. Family is tricky as well, because often they’re experiencing grief in their own way and aren’t always emotionally available to support you.

This is why it can be helpful talking to a mental health professional or finding a support group.

Connecting with people who’ve had a similar experience.

Maybe it was a parent who passed away, or a sibling, partner or close friend suddenly passing. If your friends haven’t gone through a similar experience, they might not completely understand what you’re going through. The same goes for family - their relationship with the deceased is likely to be different than yours, so their grief won’t be the same.

This is why grief support groups can be so valuable. The people in these groups can offer a different perspective and objective, but also experienced-based advice because they have been through it. It can also just be comforting for somebody to say “I understand, I’ve been there too.”

If a grief support group isn’t available to you, you can try searching for a like-minded community on social media. You can find groups and threads on Facebook and Reddit where people are sharing their stories about grief. Podcasts that discuss grief and loss can also help work through your emotions by listening to authentic stories about loss. Sometimes just hearing somebody else’s story can make you feel heard and not alone.

Online grief communities. 

Here are a couple of online groups that discuss grief and loss.

  • Grief Support thread on Reddit: A place to share stories, ask questions or seek advice. Everyone is welcome.
  • The Good Mourning Podcast: This podcast is hosted by Sal and Im and is about providing grief support with honesty and humour and sharing authentic conversations about what loss is really like. 
  • Loving Life After Loss Facebook group:  Run by Marie Alessi, this is a group where people connect and help each other on the journey of healing after loss. 
  • Bare Hive Facebook group: This is our own dedicated Facebook group. We have an incredible community of people that share stories about life, loss and grief, as well as being a place to connect with like-minded people about what makes life incredible. 

Benefits of grief support groups.

We’ve touched on how beneficial it can be to have people other than friends and family to connect with over your grief, but here are some more detailed benefits of joining a grief support group.

  • Learning about the myths of grief, typical grief patterns and how individual people experience their grief differently.
  • Having a safe and judgement free environment to express your feelings freely.
  • A place for learning new coping skills, relaxation techniques, stress management skills, and daily survival skills that others in the group have found effective.
  • Meeting people at different stages of their grief journey, which can help you picture living your life after loss. 
  • When experiencing loss for the first time, you might not realise how much grief can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. A grief group can help you understand and work through your emotions. 

How to find a grief support group or service.

Reaching out to your doctor or GP is a good first step, as they may be able to point you in the direction of a local group in your area.

Here is a list of some useful grief services and groups in Australia. 

  • The Compassionate Friends Australia offers grief support after the death of a child, sibling or grandchild, with groups in every state in Australia. 
  • Griefline is a free loss and grief telephone counselling service, available 6 am to midnight, 7 days a week. Call 1300 845 745.
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, based in Mulgrave, Victoria.
  • My Grief Assist has an extensive list of resources in Australia.
  • A quick Google Search of “Grief Support Services” and your state or city might help you find something local to you.

Other support services include:

  • BeyondBlue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. Phone: 1300 224 636
  • Mensline offers support information and referral for men with family, relationship or other concerns. Phone: 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline telephone counselling: 1800 551 800 (24 hours, 7 days)
  • StandBy Support assists anyone who has been impacted by suicide at any stage in their life including: individuals, families and friends, witnesses, schools, workplaces and community groups, and frontline responders and service providers. Phone: 1300 727 247

Read: a list of grief counselling and support services in Australia.

If you’re not quite ready to join a support group, try joining an online community. There is no pressure to share your story in an online group, but you can feel comforted and less isolated by listening to other stories.

Here at Bare, with our services we also offer guidance on grief support and can help you connect with services for ongoing support. If you’re interested in a simple cremation or memorial service, contact us at 1800 071 176 or head to our Funeral Services here.