From tragedy, comes hope
SOS was founded by Kristy Steenhuis following the loss of her husband, Matt Steenhuis, to suicide. She could not find help for herself and her children in dealing with Matt's suicide. She later founded SOS to provide bereavement support for those impacted by the tragedy of suicide.
“There is an hour, a minute - you will remember it forever - when you know instinctively on the basis of the most inconsequential evidence, that something is wrong. You don't know - can't know - that it is the first of a series of "wrongful" events that will culminate in the utter devastation of your life as you have known it.”
Joyce Carol Oates, A Widow's Story
THE SOS MISSION
The mission of SOS is to prevent suicide through education and public awareness, reduce stigma and serve as a support service to those touched through suicide.
SOS was founded by Kristy Steenhuis after she lost her husband Matt to suicide in November 2005.
Kristy (like many other people that have since gained support through SOS) found there appeared to be nowhere to turn for people who experience the aftermath of bereavement as a result of suicide and that something desperately needed to be done to assist people in these circumstances.
Kristy searched everywhere for assistance; particularly for someone who could understand and if a support group not only for herself but her two young children existed; she found nothing.
Aware that she was not alone and that there were many others who needed support, Kristy went about establishing SOS - Survivors of Suicide; not only to help those left behind but also to aid prevention and promote an awareness that support does exist and there is someone who will listen and can understand.
Kristy has personally experienced and understands the pain and emotional rollercoaster associated when a loved one completes suicide. She is determined to make a difference, to provide support to other survivors grieving the loss of a loved one through suicide and to help with their healing and recovery.
Some years later SOS continues to support people with nowhere to turn. Kristy has undertaken a range of suicide prevention training, speaks at various forums and is a member of the Ballarat Suicide Prevention Network. She also is an active participant in suicide prevention activities and training and communicates these across various forums in the broader community.
Lost a Loved One to Suicide?
We hold monthly bereavement support groups. These meetings are informal, confidential and non-judgemental, providing attendees with the opportunity to meet others who have been affected by suicide.
SOS Ballarat meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7:00pm to 9.00pm
A second support group session will be starting from the 10th of December 2016:
2nd Friday of each month from 11.00am to 1.00pm
Location: Front Pod, Eastwood Leisure Centre, 20 Eastwood Street, Ballarat
Contact Kristy Steenhuis: 0427 762 929
SOS Gippsland meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 7:00pm.
Location: Newhaven Secondary College, Boys Home Rd, Newhaven
Contact Jillian: 0413 056 165
Awareness & Prevention are Key
SOS was founded as a bereavement support service, however, much of the work done by Kristy Steenhuis and her team of dedicated volunteers is around suicide awareness and prevention. As an organisation, if we can prevent just one suicide, all our hard work will be worthwhile.
If you are considering suicide, please get help!
Stomp Out the Stigma
There is still too much stigma around suicide. We need to keep the conversation going so that people feel more comfortable talking about suicide – especially if they are considering it themselves, or if people are worried that someone is going to kill themselves – as well as supporting those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Healing Hearts & Brumbies
Our equine program supports those who have lost a loved one to suicide in helping deal with their grief, as well as for those at risk of suicide. The program has already had great success, especially with teenagers and children.
We are currently seeking sponsors for this program, so pleases contact us you are interested in supporting this program.
Considering Suicide? Get help now...
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please get help. Call one of the many helplines available in Australia.
Suicide Deaths are More than Double the Road Toll
The national suicide rate is double the annual road toll. This is a shocking statistic and when you consider how much money and attention is put to reducing the road toll, we need to make sure suicide prevention has a similar profile and budget.