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Bereaved by Suicide Response Service

Bereaved by Suicide COVID 19: An Online Response Service

This is a free national online service to provide brief specialised therapeutic support for people bereaved by suicide in the context of COVID-19. This service is for individuals and/or family/whānau using telehealth methods (videoconferencing or phone). This service sits alongside bereaved by suicide peer support groups and specialist mental health services. This service will expand into a planned national service for people bereaved by suicide. 

This service has been set up to respond specifically to those bereaved by suicide within the complex context of COVID 19 and any associated restrictions. This includes: 

  • Individuals or family/whānau bereaved by suicide since March 1st 2020 
  • Individuals or family/whānau bereaved by suicide prior to March 1st 2020 and currently experiencing issues, concerns or distress due to the complex context of COVID 1

Whilst we acknowledge the importance of self-referrals, for this COVID 19 service referrals can only be made by postvention agencies using the email referral. However, the expectation is that the referral can be done together and bereaved can identify their preferred provider using the videos and bios provided.  The referrers are:

  • Suicide Prevention Coordinator’s  
  • Victim Support Specialists 
  • Kia Piki Te Ora contacts 
  • Bereavement Support Specialist (Virginia Brooks at the Mental Health Foundation)  

Send your email referral form to BSRSreferrals@casa.org.nz  

Please note:

Young people under 16 years need a parent/caregiver to support them to participate.

Individuals and families will need access to internet with a either a laptop/phone/tablet.  

Our Providers

Nikki Coleman

Kia ora, my name is Nikki Coleman, I’m from Dannevirke and currently living in Christchurch with my family. I‘m a social worker and cognitive behaviour therapist who really likes working with youth and adults from a range of different backgrounds.

The key values I bring to my work are team work, working with you and your family to makes the best difference possible for you. I also value listening to really hear what is going on for you. I have lived experience of grief but not from suicide. I currently work with a number of people bereaved by suicide and homicide. I work Monday -Thursday until 6pm.

Tracy Murdoch

Kia ora. My name is Tracy Murdoch. I am a child and family psychologist and have worked alongside children, youth and their families for 14 years for a range of different reasons. I live in Christchurch and enjoy reading, cooking and camping. In my family we have my 12-year-old daughter and my 21-year-old Stepdaughter and 18-year-old stepson.

I believe to be a part of a person’s or family’s situation, for whatever reason, is a privilege and I r work to ensure the preservation of a person or family’s mana. Losing someone to suicide has many aspects that feel overwhelming at times, and your story and how it is for you, is important.

I work in a very transparent way and value open and honest communication. I believe you are the expert in what you are feeling, and part of my role is to listen and understand the situation from your perspective. I will support you to untangle the thoughts and feelings that sit alongside your story and to pursue your and your family’s health and wellbeing.

The mahi that we do together will focus on what you need. One size does not fit all. I am available on Friday’s 9.30am – 2.30pm and I have flexibility during other days for telehealth sessions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Suze Malcolm

My name is Suze Malcolm and I’m a Clinical Psychologist. I trained at Victoria University and graduated in 2000.  I have been practicing in the Wgtn region for the last 20 years and have mainly worked in the areas of adult and young adult mental health. For the past decade, while I’ve been raising my family, I’ve worked in both private practice, again in general mental health, and also in the area of suicide prevention. Areas of specific interest to me professionally include anxiety, mood, trauma, grief and issues related to suicide.

I love my job as a clinical psychologist for a range of reasons but most significantly because of the relationship between science and humanity. As psychologists I believe it is our job to provide tools, that the research tells us work, to help clients ease whatever suffering may have brought them to therapy. However, in order for us to provide these tools we have to connect with our clients and develop a sense of trust and collaboration.

While I do work part-time due to the young age of my family, I endeavour to see clients as meets both our timing needs and availabilities. I generally work during school hours and can see clients face to face in my private practice office in the Wellington CBD on Tuesday, Wednesday afternoon or Thursday or I can see clients through video links or simply by phone.

Lauren Gaffaney

Kia ora. My name is Lauren Gaffaney. I am from Taranaki and currently live in Hamilton with my family.

I am a Clinical Psychologist and have loved working with children, youth, and adults who come from a range of backgrounds. I am also a Clinical Advisor for CASA (Clinical Advisory Service Aotearoa) working in suicide prevention.

It has been incredibly humbling to be a part of people’s journey to achieve their goal of emotional wellbeing and help bring healing to people who have had stressful and traumatic experiences in their lives. Relationships and connectedness are key values of mine, and as a family, we thrive on doing things together like tramping and camping.

One of the most challenging things for us is to reach out for support. I am drawn to this area of work as I believe that every person should be able to access support to tell their story, process their experiences in a way that is safe, without fear of being judged, and that their story is honoured. Together, we can work on ways to help you process your thoughts, feelings and your experiences.

I am available Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9-5. I look forward to meeting you.

Gabe Couch

Kia ora, my name is Gabe Couch and I live in the Auckland region with my husband and 3 young daughters.  I am a clinical psychologist currently working with Community Advisory Services Aotearoa (CASA). 

I have primarily worked with children and young people in community mental health settings, but also with adults and in the area of suicide prevention and postvention for the last few years. 

I am motivated to do this work because of my own experience with losing loved ones to suicide and wanting to support others who are affected by suicide and reduce suicide in the community.  I value wellbeing.  I value relationships and working together with people towards health, wellness and a life worth living. 

I look forward to meeting you.  

*Registered Clinical Psychologist, BA; MSc; PGDipClinPsych; MNZCCP

Amanda Christian

Kia ora koutou

I’m Amanda Christian, I’m from Tamaki Makaurau/Aucklnd and my favourite place is being on the beach with a special connection to Taupo Bay/The Far North.

I work as a psychologist in the area of suicide prevention and postvention – facilitating a peer support group for bereaved others, supporting individuals and families through their traumatic grief, being an advocate for those bereaved by suicide and in community postvention service.

I live with my husband and we have 3 children aged 24-29. What brings me to do this work is that our daughter Amelia suicided in 2009; she was 16 years old. Although I have lived experience, I recognize that your experience might look quite different to mine.

I have always wanted there to be an accessible service for everyone who is bereaved by suicide that is free. I’m so excited that service have arrived for the bereaved.  

I believe that you can have a meaningful life again after someone you have loved has died by suicide. This may be hard to believe right now for you.

By working together, by having hope, by patience, by  listening & hearing, by respecting you and by all being done with compassion, I will do my best to assist you towards healing.

Liesje Donkin

Kia ora!  I was born in Christchurch but have lived in Auckland most of my life with time in the beautiful Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, and Sydney.

I have lived experience of suicide through whānau, and through friends.  Through this, I found that there is limited support for people who are bereaved by suicide and think it’s a hugely important part of the journey after suicide.

The values I live by are that you can grow from anything; challenge is important; diversity flavours life

My availability is Mondays, evenings, some weekend slots available.

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