Counsellors, psychologists and other health providers have experience in helping people deal with grief, loss and the big changes that come with these events. They can provide you with a safe space to express your feelings in remembering your family member. They can also give you practical strategies for managing difficult times and feelings throughout the grieving process. It can be strange to go to counselling for the first time and it might take a couple of tries to find a provider who is the right fit for you.
What is grief?
After the death of a family member you will probably feel a lot of difficult emotions. Your experience of your loss will probably change over time and you might experience physical as well as emotional reactions when you are grieving. Everyone experiences grief differently and some people might need more support than others.
Getting connected to a grief counsellor
When you are ready, there are three simple steps to connect you with a grief counsellor.
Speak with your healthcare practitioner to discuss your needs in order to be referred to your preferred grief counsellor. If you don't have a preference, your healthcare practitioner will be able to assist you in finding the right counsellor to support you.
Contact your WorkSafe agent or Family liaison officer to discuss how to access support. If you do not have a WorkSafe agent you can speak to your GP about how to access a mental health care plan.
Make an appointment with the grief counsellor.
Your grief counsellor must be a medical practitioner, psychologist or social worker registered with WorkSafe. Ask if they are registered with WorkSafe. If they aren’t, they can contact the WorkSafe Advisory service to get registered.
There are several other agencies that provide grief counselling in Victoria. Your healthcare practitioner may also be able to refer you to a counsellor, psychologist, social worker or other healthcare practitioner that can provide a Medicare rebate.
Alternatives to grief counselling support
At their first visit with you, your agent or Family Liaison Officer will offer you to be supported by a Bereavement Support Worker.
Their primary role is to provide non-clinical emotional and practical support as they 'walk the journey' with you.
This support includes:
development of a individually tailored plan
assist in navigating through government and non-government systems
becoming a central point of contact complementing the roles of agents and Family Liaison Officers
If you don't want to access grief counselling services, there are alternatives that may provide support to you, such as support groups or online services. Your healthcare practitioner can help you identify your needs.
Information and support you might need
WorkSafe Advisory Service
WorkSafe's advisory service is available between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. If you need more support, you can also contact WorkSafe using the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) or the National Relay Service.