Wings of hope for those bereaved by suicide

The two women featured in this video have both had family members who took their own lives. In the supportive environment of closed group sessions, one facilitates members metaphorically trying on the shoes of the loved one who has suicided, then walking in their shoes, and finally taking off the shoes and saying goodbye.

Karen-Lee Johansen and Leigh White met each other in a group convened by the Salvation Army, and run by Dr Diana Sands, to help people come to terms with loss from suicide. Sands has developed a tripartite model, a three-stage process for people struggling with this particularly painful form of bereavement.

In this interview Johansen and White talk about their loss and bereavement, and the stigma, shame, guilt and bewilderment that are part of bereavement from suicide. They describe how Sands' program helped them deal with these crippling emotions, and led them to want to support others.


Wings of hope (Eureka Street)