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 from other parents and siblings 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 open to anyone 18 years of age and over who has experienced the death of a son or daughter, brother or sister, at any age, from any cause.
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 TCF membership. 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 Parent & Siblings
Parents Group (Daytime) When: 4th Wednesday of each month excl. December Time: 11:00 am Please note: the November 2017 meeting will be held on the 5th Wednesday. Parents 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 excl. January Time: 7:45 pm Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126
Bayside Support Group
Parents and Siblings 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 and Siblings 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 and Siblings 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 and Siblings Group When: 1st Wednesday of each month excl. January Time: 1:30pm Venue: Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Community Drive, Greensborough VIC 3088
Parents and Siblings 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
Parents and Siblings Group When: 1st Tuesday of each month Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Venue: Bendigo Neighbourhood Hub, 155 Crook Street, Strathdale VIC 3550
Parents and Siblings Group When: 4th Monday of each month excl. December. Time: 7:30 pm Venue: Camperdown Uniting Church cnr Leura & Barkly Streets, Camperdown VIC 3260
Parents and Siblings Group When: Last Thursday of each month Time: 7:30 pm Venue: Maternal & Child Health Centre 15 Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC 3450
Parents and Siblings Group When: Last Tuesday of each month Time: 7:30 pm Venue: Noble Street Uniting Church 26-42 Saffron Street, Newtown VIC 3220
Parents and Siblings Group For more information please contact us.
Horsham – Wimmera
Parents and Siblings Group For more information please contact us.
Parents and Siblings 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.)
Parents and Siblings Group When: 3rd Tuesday of each month Time: 7:00 pm Venue: Star Theatre 40 Julia Street, Portland VIC 3305
Parents and Siblings Group When: 3rd Wednesday of each month Time: 10 am – 12 pm Venue: Shepparton Baptist Church, 600 Wyndham Street, Shepparton VIC 3630
Parents and Siblings Group When: 1st Thursday evening each month Time: 7:00 pm Venue: St Patricks Hall, 515 Smollett St, Albury 2640
Bereaved by Suicide
Parents & Siblings Group When: 1st Monday of each month Time: 7:30 pm Please note: the January meeting will be held on the second Tuesday evening of the month. Venue: The Compassionate Friends Victoria 229 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126
Bereaved by Suicide (Sunshine)
Parents & Siblings Group When: 1st Wednesday of each month Time: 7:00pm Venue: Salvation Army Drop-In Centre 42 Devonshire Road, Sunshine VIC 3020
Bereaved Support Group for Men Date: 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