SOS Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Association Inc. (SOSBSA) is a non-profit and charitable self help association formed by and for people bereaved by suicide, and offers:
- Friendship and support
- Bereavement and support groups
- Awareness and education
- Promotes prevention
Our Management Committee, is composed almost entirely of members who have lost loved ones to suicide and volunteer their time to the organisation. Most of the Support Group facilitators and volunteers have also lost loved ones to suicide. These are people who have reached that point in their grief journey where they are able to provide support and bring comfort to others. They are survivors just as you are.
Aims and objectives of the Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Support Association are:
- Provide support and a safe environment for those bereaved by suicide when and if needed, to meet and share experiences with others who understand how you feel
- Provide a referral service
- Increase public awareness about suicide, suicide prevention and suicide bereavement through publicity and education
- Form links with other suicide prevention, intervention and postvention groups
- Actively pursue funding to provide ongoing support where it is needed
SOSBSA has over 100,000 people following our Facebook page.
Join in this supportive on-line support group and share your experiences with others who understand.
If you are wondering where SOSBSA came from, please find the history of our beginnings below.
SOSBSA was established by Behavioural Counsellor, Bruce Dimmock in response to clients who were bereaved by suicide and said to him “you have no idea what this feels like, you have no idea what we are going through”. In his attempt to locate peer support groups, professional support, or literature that might be helpful to people bereaved by suicide, he found none available.
In December 1997 Bruce learnt that the Australia Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention has held a peer support group at Friendship House New Farm. Contact with the A.I.S.R.P was made. Bruce learnt that the group had closed down and that both the A.I.S.R.P and the Queensland Association for Mental Health had asked Lifeline to take it over, this request was refused by Lifeline.
Bruce decided something needed to be done. He placed a public notice in the local Quest community newspaper, asking anyone bereaved by suicide wishing to attend a peer support group to contact him. The newspaper contacted him and their journalist, Mr Randolph Ramsay ran a story in the issue of the Southern Start on the 2rd of December 1997. The story even captured the editors attention and subsequently we made the editorial.
The first peer support group was on January 6th 1998. 18 people attended that meeting. People attended from as far away as Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast. Since then we have held fortnightly meetings in Brisbane and attendances have always been, sadly enough quite high.
SOSBSA officially became an organization in early 1998, and from these humble beginnings to our current humble state.
We have spent a lot of time over these years engaging with the government and other associations regarding suicide prevention. Sadly, much of our advice or recommendations haven’t been taken on board and the number of suicides is definitely not decreasing.
We continue to focus the majority of our attention of running support groups. The Brisbane and Logan groups meet every fortnight, along with Bundaberg and Cairns groups that meet monthly.
The current Management Committee of SOSBSA express great appreciation for Bruce Dimmock and all of the founding members and each and every member, office bearer or support group attendee over these years.
We believe we are one of the longest standing continuing support associations in Australia, and this is worth a big thank you to each of you and to everyone over the years who kept us going.