Supporting a loved one, family member or friend experiencing suicidal distress

*Please note, the recording does not include the content covered in the workshop breakout rooms.

Organisation Involved: Everymind
Workshop Facilitators: Dr. Sally Fitzpatrick, Dr. Jaelea Skehan & Andrew McMahon
Workshop Duration: 3 hours

Every year, a significant number of people will experience suicidal distress and/or attempt suicide, many of whom are supported by family members and friends. This experience of receiving and providing support can have impacts on each person and can change the relationship. To design resources, services and supports for family, friends and other caregivers, we must first better understand the perspectives of both the person receiving support and the person providing support.This workshop explored the relationship between the person experiencing suicidal distress and the family member or friend providing support. It provided opportunities for participants to contribute their experiences and share ideas of how we can better inform and support caregivers, based on what people need.

Workshop outcomes:
– Explored from multiple perspectives, how relationships are impacted when someone experiences suicidal distress, and how needs and roles may change.
– Greater understanding of how to move between needing and receiving support from the person experiencing suicidal distress.
– Developed Information Statements that support service providers better understand how the relationship between a caregiver and person experiencing suicidal distress may change, how to better support caregivers respond to these relationships, and the importance of considering this relationship for service providers.

About the Facilitators

Dr. Sally Fitzpatrick: Dr Sally Fitzpatrick is a Program Manager at Everymind, a Clinical Psychologist and researcher who is passionate about understanding the factors that contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. Sally oversees the child and family program of work at Everymind, which includes programs focussed on the relationship between caregivers and family/friends in their lives experiencing suicidal distress.

Dr. Jaelea Skehan: Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM is the Director of Everymind, a researcher, psychologist and leader in suicide prevention. Jaelea is passionate about building the capacity of individuals, families, services and communities and is an advocate for finding better connections between knowledge from lived experience, research and practice.

Andrew McMahon: Andrew is a PhD student at Everymind and The University of Newcastle, currently exploring the experiences and needs of family and friends caring for a person who has attempted suicide, including testing the feasibility and acceptability of a new online intervention for family and friends affected by a suicide attempt.

Date Published
March 14, 2022
LE SUMMIT 21 , workshop
Join for more

Keep up to date from the Roses in the Ocean team