GriefLine has been working with the Victorian Police and their outreach program since 2014 by supporting people who have experienced sudden death and trauma.
The referrals are to support witnesses, family, friends or anyone associated with incidents which have involved police attendance.
Kathy Wells, Manager of the Helpline and Bereavement Counsellor, says that the referrals cover a wide range of incidents from performing CPR on strangers, through to discovering a partner/family member who has died at home, farm accidents, mental health, domestic violence, drug use, and suicides.
This service, which has never received funding, is receiving more referrals from police officers than ever before. Over 1300 referrals came into GriefLine from January to December 2016.
Kathy Wells said: “On any given week, GriefLine can have over 30 referrals from the Victorian Police. These referrals are managed by 10 experienced volunteer telephone counsellors who, on average contact the clients over a month with up to three follow up sessions, and provide a report back to the Victorian Police.
“On average, this equates to 32 hours of 1:1 counselling and 24 hours of supervision and administrative support to provide a service which is highly valued by Victoria Police”, Ms Wells said.
GriefLine is seeking funding to continue this important service.