Support Groups

Support Groups during COVID-19

To check on the status of a support group, please call us on (03) 9888 4944 / 1300 064 068.  

  • If you are new to groups or have not attended a group for many months but would like to attend the next meeting of a support or social group, please call us on (03) 9888 4944 / 1300 064 068.
  • If you are a regular attendee of a support group, we still ask you to let the leader know of your plan to attend their next meeting, so that attendance numbers can be monitored.  

Please ensure that when you attend a face-to-face support or social support group that you follow the following Covid Safe steps.

We are not a crisis service. If you need immediate crisis support, please contact Suicide Line on 1300 651 251 / Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 / Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Questions about TCFV Support Groups & Social Support Groups

Below are answers to questions we often get asked about our group meetings.  If there is something else you want to know please contact The Compassionate Friends Victoria office on (03) 9888 4944.  Outside Melbourne metro Free Call 1300 064 068.

Who Can Attend?

Meetings are for individuals 18 years of age and over, who have experienced the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister, granddaughter or grandson, at any age, from any cause.

We find meetings are predominantly attended by bereaved parents, but siblings and grandparents are welcome, too. If siblings are looking at sibling-specific support, please refer here.

Please keep in mind, you need to be a member of TCFV to attend any group. Your first year of membership is complimentary (to establish a membership, please call 9888 4944 / 1300 064 068); for more information on membership, please see below “Is there a charge to attend?”

I'm new to meetings. Should I call TCFV and speak with the group leader prior to attending?

We highly recommend you speak with the group leader prior to your first group meeting. Call TCFV on 1300 064 068 and we can help arrange a chat. Speaking with the leader is a valuable introduction to the group and what it can offer you in your grief journey.

If I go to a meeting, will I have to talk?

No one is required to talk at any meeting. We understand how difficult that can be when our grief is so fresh. We do ask that you listen, however, and we don’t interrupt while another member is sharing their story.

Is there a charge to attend?

The cost of attending a group is included in our TCFV membership. (If you need to establish a TCFV membership, please call us on 9888 4944 / 1300 064 068.) You can attend as many groups as you like, in any location as part of joining our organisation. New members receive a 12-month complementary membership, after this it is $55 per year (less than $5 a month), which also gives you access to all of our other services.

What happens at a meeting?

Most groups start with an informal time for welcoming people and having a cup of tea or coffee. The formal part of the meeting then begins with the facilitator speaking and perhaps reading a piece of poetry or a short story, after which time we introduce ourselves in turn and share our thoughts and feelings. At this time, you may share as much or as little as you need. General discussion then follows and groups usually end with another cuppa for those members who wish to stay.

My child died several years ago, and I postponed my grief work. Now it's catching up with me. Is it too late to come now?

We all grieve differently. Many parents don’t feel the need of a support group until years after the death of a child. It’s all right to come whenever you are ready, whether it’s soon after your child’s death, months later or years later.

Can I bring a friend with me?

If you need a friend to drive you to the group, or you need their reassurance, they are welcome to attend. It is important for us to be able to share freely within our group and be sure confidences will be respected. Your friend would need to accept this confidentiality.

My partner says they won't come with me. Can I come alone?

Yes. We all grieve differently and they may not be ready to take part just yet…or ever. And, likewise, many parents attend meetings without their partners.

Religion doesn't matter to me anymore. Can people at a meeting accept that?

We think you will find TCFV members are very tolerant of any views. After the death of a child or sibling, many priorities, as well as values, change.

I notice the meeting is in a church. Do I have to belong to a church to attend?

TCFV has no religious affiliation. Meetings are held in a wide variety of locations depending upon what is available in our communities.

I have baby-sitting problems. Would it be all right to bring my child with me?

While we understand the difficulties of finding child care, we must ask that out of respect for the needs of others, you do not bring children (under 18 years of age) to meetings.  At this time, we do not provide any services for bereaved parents or siblings below 18 years of age, but we can refer you to other agencies where these services are available.

Bereaved by Suicide

When: 4th Monday of each month (excluding December)
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Bereaved by Suicide (Sunshine)

When: 1st Tuesday of each month excl January
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre 42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Siblings-specific Support Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of the month
Time: 7.45pm
Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria, 229 Canterbury Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

Other siblings-specific services here.

 

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“Express Yourself Through Art”

(We are presently offering this service online. For details of upcoming classes, click here.)

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MenSpace

Bereaved Support Group for Men
When: 3rd Wednesday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm—9:00 pm For more information, click here.
Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

Canterbury Support Groups

Daytime Group When: 4th Wednesday of each month excl. December
Time: 11:00 am.

Evening Group When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January Time: 7:45 pm (please note: a siblings-specific support group is held the same evening at the same time in a different room)

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Canterbury Support Groups

Parents & Grandparents Group (Daytime) When: 4th Wednesday of each month excl. December
Time: 11:00 am.

Parents & Grandparents Group (Evening) When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January Time: 7:45 pm

Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126

Bayside Support Group

When: 4th Wednesday each month excl. December
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Venue: Highett Neighbourhood Community House 2 Livingston Street, Highett VIC 3190

Eltham Support Group

Monthly meetings for 2021 will commence 1st April 2021.

When: 1st Thursday of the month, 11am

Venue: Eltham Library Multipurpose Room, Panther Place, Eltham

Rowville Support Group

When: 1st Friday of each month excl. January
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue: Bridgewater Centre Cnr Fullham & Bridgewater Roads, Rowville VIC 3178

Sunshine Support Group

When: 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre 42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

Ballarat

When: 1st Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Mt Clear Church of Christ (in the church hall) 1185 Geelong Rd, Canadian VIC 3350

Bendigo

When: 1st Wednesday of each month, excluding January
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Venue: For details, please call TCFV Centre: 1300 064 068

Camperdown

When: 4th Monday of each month excl. December.
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Camperdown Uniting Church cnr Leura & Barkly Streets, Camperdown VIC 3260

Castlemaine

When: Last Thursday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Maternal & Child Health Centre 15 Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC 3450

Geelong

When: Last Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Noble Street Uniting Church 26-42 Saffron Street, Newtown VIC 3220

Horsham – Wimmera

Meetings held quarterly (Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec) For more information please contact us.

Lakes Entrance

Bereaved Through Any Cause Group Meetings: 7pm, on the first Thursday of the following months (March, May, July, September, November)

Suicide-specific Support Groups: 7pm on the first Thursday of the following months (April, June, August, October, December)

Venue for ALL events listed above: Lakes Entrance Baptist Church (Utility Room), 141 Princes Highway, Lakes Entrance

Mildura

When: 1st Thursday of each month excl. January
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: MADEC Community College 133-137 Madden Avenue, Mildura VIC 3500 (NOTE: Please ring front doorbell. Doors at MADEC are locked after 5:30pm.)

Portland

When: 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Star Theatre 40 Julia Street, Portland VIC 3305

Warragul

When: 4th Wednesday of the month
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Warragul Community House, 138 Normanby Street, Warragul 3820

Hobart Support Group

When: 2nd Tuesday bi-monthly (Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec)
Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: McDougall Building, 9 Ellersie Road, Battery Point (off Hampden Road) TAS 7004

Bayside Social Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of each month
Time: 10:45am
Venue: Public Grind, 316 Highett Road, Highett  VIC 3190

Geelong Morning Tea Social Group

When: 2nd Tuesday of each month excl. January
Time: 10:30 am
Venue: Brioche Café 175 West Fyans Street, Newtown VIC 3220

Men’s Brekkie

Bereaved men’s social breakfast
When: 1st Thursday of each month excl. January (January is held on the 2nd Thursday)
Time: 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Venue: Wilson & Walsh Cafe 129 Maling Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

Southern Peninsula Lunchtime Social Group

When: 1st Tuesday of each month at 12 noon excl. January For more information please contact us.

Yarraville Social Group

When: 3rd Saturday of each month
Time: 10:45am
Venue: Mantra Cafe, 10A Campbell Street, Yarraville 3013

TCF Bereaved by Suicide Social Group

When: 2nd Thursday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Box Hill RSL 26 Nelson Road, Box Hill VIC 3128