Our Story about Suicide Prevention and Support Network Western Sydney
A forum was held on October 30th 2008 for families and interested community members bereaved by suicide in Western Sydney.
This was the initiative of Genean Beetson from Simplicity Funerals, to raise awareness of suicide prevention programs and support networks for those who had lost a loved one to suicide.
Mrs Beetson had noticed an increase in suicide-related deaths coming into the funeral home and knows how difficult it is to describe the emotion one feels when sitting with families who have lost someone to suicide.
She was inspired by the number of people who attended the forum and by the number of people who left their names, willing to participate in a support group being set up in Penrith.
Her vision was to have the community to come together and form a support group for bereaved families. She also felt it important that there is support for those dealing with someone who is suicidal.
A group of dedicated people have been working since that first meeting back in 2008, much work and research has been carried out and the group remains strong and determined to make a difference in Western Sydney for people effected by suicide and to offer support for those struggling suicide thoughts.
Genean Beetson – Chairperson
Genean was a funeral director working in Western Sydney when she noticed an increase in suicide related deaths coming into her funeral home. Genean realised the families leaned on her more for support after the funeral had taken place (assuming it’s because she may have felt more at ease talking to the families about their loved one who had passed away & was not afraid to ask how they were feeling). Wanting to know how she could help she researched the local area realising there was nothing close by she could refer bereaved families to, she decided to put on the first community forum that lead the network & support groups being established.
Genean has dedicated the seven years helping people bereaved by suicide & since the network was established in 2009 she has played an important role on the executive committee.
Barbara Kent -Vice Chairperson
Peter Web – Secretary
Peter is the Current Secretary of the Western Sydney Suicide Prevention and Support Network. Peter attended his first Network meeting in May 2011. Peter is a past chairperson and has served on the executive ever since. Peter has also been in Rotary since 1998 and is a active member of the Rotary Club of Kurrajong North Richmond.
Peter is married to Helen and together they have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren. Just over 7 years ago Peter, after a time of reflection, decided to give up full time employment and now works part time as a consultant in the precast concrete industry. He values the opportunity he has to bring balance to his life by enjoying a FULL life instead of a BUSY life.
Peter has no professional experience with mental health issues but believes we all have a responsibility to our local communities and strongly believes in the Rotary motto of ‘Service above Self’.
Anthony Fleetwood – Treasurer and Public Officer
Mr Bart Basset