'Guilt and grief': Heartbreaking loss inspires new group

21st April 2017 12:18 PM
A man on a park benchPhoto Peter Holt / Daily Mercury SUPPORT IS THERE: A new group for the people left behind after those they know have committed suicide has begun in Gladstone. The group meets every second Monday. Peter Holt

SUICIDE is something that touches everyone who comes into contact with it.

The people left behind have a sense of loss and often wonder why it happened.

It's for this reason Roberta Spencer started the Survivors of Suicide Gladstone support group after a personal experience.

"I'm 35 and I think all of my friends are doing fine and one of my best friends committed suicide in December," she said.

"I'd only spoken to her about an hour before. It's guilt and grief that you can't understand until you're there.

"I didn't understand it until I was on the other side of it."

Ms Spencer said she wanted to talk to someone who had been through something similar.

"It's okay to talk to friends but it's a really different thing," she said.

"I went looking for something in Gladstone to do with suicide. Apparently years ago there was a support group but the people that ran it moved away, so there hasn't been anything."

Ms Spencer got in touch with the Gladstone Women's Health Centre, who said it would be a great idea for the community.

The group meets at a small building on Buller St behind the Women's Health Clinic.

However, Ms Spencer stressed the group was not run by the service and she was not trained, but was there for support.

"I'm not a counsellor but I know where they're coming from," she said.

"I'm just hoping that anyone that wants to talk or is having a hard time, I'm more than willing to sit and listen to them."

Ms Spencer said she felt a lot of guilt over her friend's death and others felt the same.

"I'm not ashamed of my friend in any way, (suicide) shouldn't be so taboo," she said.

Survivors of Suicide Gladstone are meeting on Monday at 6pm.

They meet every fortnight on Monday, alternating between 9.30am and 6pm.

For more information search for the group on Facebook or email SOSgladstone@ outlook.com.au.