Support for those bereaved through suicide

A COMMUNITY-based  program is coming to Bendigo to support people who are affected by suicide.

StandBy operates in eleven locations across Australia and is setting up its first Victorian site in Bendigo with the 24-hour service to be facilitated by Bendigo Community Health Servcies.

StandBy provides a coordinated community response to families, friends and communities who have been bereaved through suicide.

National StandBy coordinator Jill Fisher was joined by StandBy national response service manager Karen Phillips in Bendigo on Thursday to announce the news.

"The StandBy program started in the Sunshine Coast in the mid-90s following a series of tragic suicides," Ms Fisher said.

"It is a community-based program, it really belongs to the community and it ensures a coordinated community response.

"We've developed a model that appears to work, it's working across several communities across Australian, and courtesy of the Australian government it's now expanding into the Loddon Mallee area.

"And we're very excited about that.

"It is a first for Victoria so kudos to the community here and to Bendigo community health as our partners."

The program will be coordinated in Bendigo by Jeanette O'Brien from Bendigo Community Health Services.

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