Waves is an eight week programme that aims to support adults aged 18 and older who have been bereaved by suicide.

For Waves group contacts in your region or please email [email protected]

The programme combines learning about suicide and bereavement, with group discussion and support. The group is facilitated by two trained facilitators over eight weeks and supports members to:

  • meet and share with others who are also experiencing the impact of suicide
  • explore aspects of their grief and reduce isolation and stigma associated with bereavement by suicide in a safe and supportive environment
  • get information and strategies about how to care for themselves and others (including children and young people), after a suicide
  • adjust to living with loss and moving forward.

Overview of sessions

Session 1: Introduction
  • Getting to know each other
  • Negotiating the process
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Establishing values and safety

Session 2: Acknowledging the grief and loss

  • Acknowledging and sharing aspects of grief
  • Learning more about the grief process and different styles of grieving
  • Learning about and sharing strategies for managing grief

Session 3: Emotional responses and coping

  • Identifying, acknowledging and sharing emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, fear, guilt)
  • Learning more about managing strong emotions
  • Learning about and sharing health ways to express and manage emotions

Session 4: Cognitive responses, living with why and coping

  • Identifying, acknowledging and sharing recurring thoughts (e.g. why???)
  • Learning more about making sense of suicide and managing unhelpful thoughts
  • Learning about and sharing healthy ways to express thoughts and manage thinking

Session 5: Social responses, impact and support

  • Identifying, acknowledging and sharing how suicide has affected people and their family/whānau socially
  • Learning more about the social impact of suicide, stigma and supporting others
  • Learning more about and sharing ways to strengthen, repair and build new relationships

Session 6: Healing, remembering rituals and connections

  • Identifying and sharing how people accommodate grief, adjust to loss and have begun to heal
  • Learning more about rituals, ways of letting go of pain and holding on to memories and connections with loved ones.
  • Sharing stories about loved ones and how people want to remember them

Session 7: Looking ahead, moving forward

  • Identifying, acknowledging and sharing how grief and loss changes over time
  • Learning more about stories of suffering, growth, and survivorship
  • Learning more about and sharing ways people can stay hopeful and resilient going forward

Session 8: Closure, reflection and feedback

  • Bring the group to a close, reflecting on experiences with others
  • Collecting feedback to help the development of Waves
  • Collecting a message of hope for other survivors

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Resources Available at Skylight

Skylight is here to help you through difficult times. We can assist you in a variety of ways with information appropriate for your situation. You are welcome to visit us and receive free information and a support pack from our resource centre and borrow books from the specialist library. We also facilitate Professional Development training and offer Counselling support services for children, young people, family/whānau and individuals who are experiencing tough times.

Request a Pack Library

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Our online shop features Skylight's own publications and other specialist titles from New Zealand and around the world. Search titles, keywords or category headings by clicking the shop button.