One of Australia’s most highly specialised social services is in difficulty as government funding has been significantly reduced. The Work-Related Grief Support program, operated by the UnitingCare agency Creative Ministries Network (CMN), provides grief support to family members whose loved ones have died through work-related causes.
CMN director Antony McMullen (pictured) said the program was unique because it offered long-term support, sometimes over many years.
“This is not just one or two years of support. In some cases we have worked with people for five years or more,” Mr McMullen said.
“For some people touched by a traumatic work-place death, the process of healing can take a lot longer and it’s a journey that we are able to accompany people through to assist them to live life the best they can.”
The team at CMN note that a work-related death can happen to anyone, not only those who work in high-risk professions. In some cases high-level workplace stress can lead to heart attacks and suicide.
The support program includes a family service support worker visiting families and individuals at home and the facilitation of workshops to bring people together.
“This program really supports people in need when they’re hurting,” Mr McMullen said.
CMN, in partnership with the SHARE Appeal, has begun a fundraising campaign to ensure its long-term future.
“When you help us out with this program, every dollar will go to assisting families, particularly in outer metropolitan and rural and regional areas.
“These families are coping with difficult legal problems to do with a loved one dying because of their work. Often there are lots of technical issues to deal with.
“When we assist them it’s an opportunity for them to start talking about and learning to live with their grief.
“Being able to meet people in their own homes means they are often at their most relaxed, considering the traumatic circumstances they’ve been through. They can have some space, some quiet, some time for discussion to deal with the real emotional issues they’re dealing with,” Mr McMullen said.
The program is open to anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one in a work place incident or from a work-related cause, such as work stress or an industrial disease.
To support the program visit: www.cmn.unitingcare.org.au