Support Groups

Support Groups are held for any bereaved parent/brother/sister or grandparent who would like to meet others who truly understand and care. Support Groups provide a safe environment for people to share their thoughts and emotions, gain insights from those further along in their grief and develop skills to assist them on their grief journey.

By joining The Compassionate Friends Victoria and going to the Suicide Support group, I felt I was not alone in my grief. I listened to stories that helped me understand my own grief. It is in the sharing that we are to normalise our feelings of guilt, sadness, anger and trauma. I have made good friends out of my grief at The Compassionate Friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 1800 641 091.

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. A small number of meetings are “specialist” (e.g. for bereaved siblings specifically, or people through suicide).

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?”

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.

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.

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.

Do I need to speak to someone before I come to a meeting?

If you’re planning to attend your first meeting with a group, we ask that you contact the Centre on 9888 4944. This way, we can let the leaders know you’re planning to attend, and they can keep an eye out for you, and welcome you into the group. Group members report this has helped them in the process of settling into a group.

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.

Bereaved Parents, Siblings & Grandparents

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

Siblings Group (Evening) (For siblings 18+ Yrs) When: 2nd Tuesday of each month.
Time: 7:45 pm

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

Bayside Support Group

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

South East Suburbs Support Group

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

Western Suburbs Support Group

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

North East Support Group

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group
When: 1st Wednesday of each month excl. January
Time: 1:30pm
Venue: THE MEETING ROOM (next to Greenhills Preschool), Community Drive, Greensborough VIC 3088

Ballarat

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group
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

Parents & Grandparents Group
When: 1st Tuesday of each month
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Venue: Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub, 155 Crook Street, Strathdale VIC 3550

Siblings Group (For siblings 18+ Yrs)
For meeting times and venue, please contact TCFV Centre on 1300 064 068.

Camperdown

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

Castlemaine

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

Geelong

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

Hamilton

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group For more information please contact us.

Horsham – Wimmera

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group For more information please contact us.

Lakes Entrance

Please Note: the Lakes Entrance groups commence in 2020

Information Evening (open to general public and professionals): 7pm, Thursday 6th February 2020

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 Mechanics Hall, 18 Mechanics Street, Lakes Entrance

Mildura

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group
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

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

Warragul

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

Wodonga

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group
When: 1st Thursday evening each month
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: St Patricks Hall, 515 Smollett St, Albury 2640

Hobart Support Group

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents 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

Bereaved by Suicide

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group 
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)

Parents, Siblings & Grandparents Group 
When: 1st Wednesday of each month excl January
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre 42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020

“Express Yourself Through Art”

When: 3rd Monday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126 Places limited. Reserve your place 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

Bereaved of a Young Child (7yrs & under)

Parents & Grandparents
When: 4th Tuesday quarterly (Feb, May, Aug, Nov)
Time: 10:30 am—12:30 pm
Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Road, Canterbury VIC 3126
Please bring a plate to share for lunch. 

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

Healesville Lunchtime Social Group

When: 3rd Thursday of each month For more information please contact us.

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 excl. January For more information please contact us.

Yarraville Social Group

When: 3rd Saturday of each month
Time: 10.30am
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