First of a kind Let's Talk Suicide

Mental Health Minister backs ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camp

First of a kind ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camps

Thanks to vital support from the NSW Government and Minister for Mental Health, Regional Health and Women, Bronnie Taylor, Feel the Magic can help more children grieving the suicide of their parent or sibling.

Let’s Talk Suicide camps, a first of their kind in Australia, are offered to kids aged seven to 17 who are grieving the suicide of a loved one.

The Feel the Magic ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camps, a first of their kind in Australia, are offered to kids aged seven to 17 who are grieving the suicide of a loved one. These camps give grieving kids the mental tools and coping skills to help manage their grief, as well as a community to lean on.

Supporting children and families affected by suicide

Feel the Magic Chief Executive Officer, Adam Blatch said “Sadly, suicide claims the life of many parents every year, leaving behind heartbroken and devastated partners, children, and grandparents. The Let’s Talk Suicide program provide a safe space for children to learn new skills to manage their grief and talk through their pain and loneliness with people who truly understand. It is also a vital support to parents and carers who must juggle their own grief.”

Suicide is the leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 49 years old in Australia (Australian Government, Department of Health), with many of these instances resulting in a child having to mourn the loss of a parent or sibling.  Read more about the prevalence of childhood bereavement here.

With the support of the NSW Government, Feel the Magic can offer this critical Let’s Talk Suicide program to more grieving children.

The suicide bereavement program is funded by the NSW Government and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor encourages affected parents and carers to enrol their children and teens. “I cannot imagine the enormous, heart-breaking task of explaining to your child why a parent or sibling felt their only option was to take their own life,” Minister Taylor said. “We want these parents and carers to know that they are not alone and there is a community of people who understand their pain and grief and will support them as they work through it as a family.”

An impactful collaboration

Let’s Talk Suicide has been created as a collaboration to ensure that the program is as impactful as possible. Partners include the NSW Ministry of Health who support this program as part of their ‘Towards Zero Suicides’ initiative, The Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative, Roses in the Ocean, and the University of Melbourne.

First in-person ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ camp

Initially a virtual Zoom-based program, the first in-person ‘Let’s Talk Suicide’ (LTS) camp took place at Stanwell Tops on the 15 May for children aged seven to 17 years of age. “Now with in-person camps, kids can build a connection with others facing grief and experience the benefits of the program, face to face.” Said Mr Blatch.

Helping children deal with loss

Created specifically for kids who are grieving the suicide of a loved one, LTS teaches bereaved children how to heal from the guilt, shame and blame that often comes with suicidal grief.

The program is developed in collaboration with clinical psychologists, the NSW Ministry of Health, leading suicide support organisations, and those with a lived experience.

At the LTS camps, kids will learn the skills, tools, and coping mechanisms to help them deal with grief, even when they’re in triggering situations. They have a safe place to explore their grief and heal, with other children who can relate to them like no one else.

Find out more here, register your interest, or contact 1300 602 465.

Crisis support

Please note we do not offer crisis services. If you require urgent assistance, to ensure your safety, please go to your nearest hospital’s accident and emergency department or if you’re in need of immediate emotional support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Grief Line on 1300 845 745. Please take care. 

A fantastic documentary for our partner Erebus on Fox

AN EIGHT-PART documentary series following one of Supercars’ most popular teams, Erebus Motorsport, will debut on Wednesday 2 March on Fox Sports.

Access All Areas: Erebus Motorsport was filmed across a remarkable two-year period covering the 2020 and 2021 Supercars Championship seasons and goes places no behind-the-scenes documentary has gone before.

Access All Areas commences with cameras embedded within the team in the thick of the contest at the 2020 Adelaide 500, as Erebus pushes to join Supercars’ elite as regular winners.

With unfiltered access to drivers’ David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale both at and away from the circuit, the documentary then charts the unprecedented 2020 season as the team negotiated the Covid-19 Pandemic and the border closures throughout the year.

As if that wasn’t enough, cameras were there when the team underwent significant change prior to the 2021 season: Reynolds and De Pasquale departing the team to be replaced by an all-rookie squad comprised of young-guns Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki. 

Can you help raise $100,000 by simply voting online?

Joey Essex is an English television personality that is currently featuring in Channel Ten’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. He has progressed to the finale which is being aired on Channel Ten this Sunday night!

Why Joey selected Feel the Magic?

When Joey was 10-years-old his mother died by suicide. Unable to comprehend such a great loss when he was so young, Joey attempted to push down his grief and grew up to be one of the UK’s biggest reality stars.

Joey’s lived experience of childhood bereavement resonates significantly with why Feel the Magic exists. Joey shared his story recently on I’m A Celebrity and also in a BBC document Joey Essex: Grief & Me which was on Channel Ten. Joey shared his difficult past and his attempts to confront the grief that he had buried for two decades and how seeking help AND talking about his grief, how much it changed his life.

Joey is now a chance at $100,000 for Feel the Magic if he wins! If you can help just by jumping on the 10Play link below and voting for Joey, he may just help fund more camps and resources in 2022!

Vote at https://10play.com.au/vote

Help make this research study a success

An online study aiming to better understand the support needs of young people mourning the loss of a sibling is being conducted by the University of Queensland. Findings of this research may help to improve the support available for young people who have experienced sibling bereavement.

This online questionnaire will ask questions about your grief experience, what support you may need, how you may have grown as a person during this difficult time, as well as general details about yourself (e.g., age, gender).

Participants eligible for this study:

  • Anyone aged 16 – 25 who wants to share their story
  • Death of a sibling has not occurred less than 4 months ago

Please note: Anyone aged 16 and 17 will need consent from a parent or guardian before participating.   

This study will take approximately 20 – 25 minutes to complete.

For more information, please click here to view the flyer or view the podcast.

If you would like to participate, please follow the link below:   

Study link: https://uqpsych.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1IfmAERrRj1MQpD

Lend your voice to designing the Post Suicide Support Services

4 locally facilitated co-design workshops are seeking to bring together people who have a lived experience of suicide bereavement with those who work in postvention, such as first responders, and community post suicide support roles. The aim is to work together on designing what the new NSW Post Suicide Support Services will look like in your local area.

The 4 workshops will be held in the Nepean Blue Mountains, Campbelltown, Bateman’s Bay, and inner Sydney areas. If you or anyone you know, either your colleagues or families might be interested to join these workshops, please feel free to make contact with Bridget Betzold at [email protected]

For more details on a workshop in your area, please download the flyer.

Sydney Workshop

Nepean Blue Mountains Workshop

Campbelltown Workshop

Bateman’s Bay Workshop

A Changing of the Guard at Feel the Magic

A changing of the guard is taking place at Feel the Magic.

Our fearless leader and Co-Founder, James Thomas has been at the helm for the past 8 years. So much has been achieved in this time with many lives impacted along the way. Driven from his own personal tragedy, along with wife Kristy, they have managed to establish Feel the Magic as one of the Nations leading organisations in grief education and support for bereaved kids and their families.

In James’ words below he shares what this journey has meant to him. We also introduce you to Adam Blatch, Feel the Magic’s new CEO in 2021.

“I have some exciting news to share!

Kristy’s and my own personal tragedy gave life to Feel the Magic. For the past 8 years, Feel the Magic has been my baby. Now with two young boys to raise, it’s time to give them more of my time, love and guidance. One of the greatest lessons I have learnt from grieving kids is that time and the simple things in life spent with their loved ones means the most! This is now my time to provide these types of memories and experiences for my two boys Madden and Chase.

As Co-founder and Managing Director, I’m excited to hand over the reins to a great leader that leads with heart. From January 1st, 2021, Adam Blatch will be appointed as Feel the Magic’s new CEO. Adam’s skillset is profound, and I will watch and support him with great joy as he takes Feel the Magic to the next level.

When I think of Feel the Magic, the word ‘Family’ comes to mind and this is exactly what it is. It is an organisation driven by heart and with Adam now at the helm, I have every bit of confidence that these traits will be very much preserved, and the culture & essence will be built upon from leadership.

I am still very much involved with FTM, advocating for grieving Australians is something I’m still very much passionate about. I will be stepping into a new role, working alongside Adam in a Co-founder/advocate role and proudly fly the flag for early intervention for grieving Australians.

I wanted to sincerely thank the FTM team, hard work pays off and this is evident with what has been achieved in the past 8 years. With the development and evolution of our programs, expansion into three states, over a thousand kids and their families supported, these are just a few things that I’m very proud of. I want to thank the FTM Board both past and present for your professionalism and contribution. I also want to thank all individuals, donors, contractors, personal mentors, volunteers, schools, sporting clubs, charities, businesses, corporations, philanthropist and ambassadors that have played a hand in establishing FTM as one of Australia’s leading support providers for grieving kids and their families. To all FTM beneficiaries, I wish you nothing but the best and thank you for your bravery, trust and inspiring me to be a better human.

Last but not least, I want to thank my wife Kristy. Since that day in Disneyland in January 2013, you have been by my side every step of the way and I honestly could not have done this without you! Your belief in our vision kept us going and I’m proud of us for creating something very special.

Thank you all once again, it’s been a blast!”

 James Thomas

Please watch the short video below created by FTM Ambassador Dimity Clancey.