BreakingNews, Counsellor, Psychosocial Services, Social Work, Uncategorized, Wollongong NSW

A Safe Space To Shelter During Troubled Times

Available: Online every second Thursday evening, Working Towards Zero Suicide. The Shelter is staffed by volunteering clinical and lived experience experts collaboratively. The group was one of the first such alternative to ED options and endured years of training, consultation and networking. The group is led largely by members of the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative (COORDINARE) and provide a welcoming online space or referral to a physical Safe Space operated and advocates for by participating Collaborative members. So all this together amounts to a pretty solid support to assist people experiencing or affected by suicidality and is non-judgemental and non-clinical – equal space – to buy time during a traumatic to suicide crisis or even to put a hand up in need and attend without any expectations other than to keep sound to the spirit of the lived experience non-judgemental approach. Highly recommended for SE-NSW and beyond, though even by making enquiries Shelter can assist. For precise details please consult the information contained on the group’s flyer !!!

Counsellor, Social Work, Wollongong NSW

Australian Social Work Network Reaches Out On Facebook

Democratic Advocates for Australian Social Work (DAASW) has been operating on the Facebook platform for over five years now.  The Network has maintained well over 200 senior clinical members and represents a unique, consistent and engaged membership. Whilst the primary purpose of DASSW is member-centric, many are active in private practice and government and Non-government roles.  As such there is also an external nature to what they do and so is surely a group worth approaching about various consultancy, grant and EOI commissions.  DAASW can be contacted directly by emailing  AASW-eligible social workers can request to join direct.  Our preferred recruiter is Cornerstone Medical though from time to time other employment related opportunities are given coverage.  Some colleagues will also respond to clients seeking to engage their services nationwide and all correspondence directed via the groups email is published routinely to the Network, being careful to observe privacy prior to any handover.  So not only is this unique space valued by members, debate and information is shared in the public interest and should there be public interest about DAASW resulting from this piece I’m sure having access to this Network during 2021 will make it a good one.

A Facebook link to DAASW products store is attached below as a new feature for 2021. The DAASW Page itself can easily be found on Facebook for prospective eligible members. This piece serves to highlight the good work DAASW does and is not meant to be a promotional piece in the first instance but except to draw attention to potentiality and the Network plans to share more regarding its progress throughout 2021.

Social Work

The Fire that time

I came across this piece scrolling through Facebook. Is apparently of a local man running from fire this time, 52 years ago in 1968, heshem bag at the ready by looks. What a differences the years can make now tis lush by contrast to this terrible time last year: dubbed ’Black Summer’. We realise this can be short lived as the first month this summer has only brought with it one real heatwave as yet and so lush can turn to dust inside of one week at 50•C and so a nervous season seemingly remains ahead. So many are still very much back there and now COVID and everything else we have seemingly become so depressed about and saddened by this year is to receive celebration. I seen another depiction by a friend on Facebook too, of a shadow person kicking the 0 from 202’0 in silhouette, over a cliff as it were, then replaced with a ‘1. Only days out from New Years 2020 a real tension is in the air here in Oz and around the world, matched only by polar opposite, those who already exist in their own COVID safe bubble yet fail to maintain their distance. So anyway we knew about COVID potential even back then snd ‘‘twas novel indeed. How could we have foreseen and acted more swiftly? Oz was hit by COVID, to be certain, many hundreds of people died! Since the initial quake the aftershocks have been intolerable, a colleague explained regarding Second Wave lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne where they said police snd choppers were quite present and this went on for many, many weeks, until Victoria emerged victorious today, counting the near miss from a positive resident upon return from Greater Sydney with the virus, where the situation is on tender hooks as cases stubbornly trickle through, with declarations and restrictions being imposed in some areas reminiscent of last March when NSW went into initial lockdown in response to the virus threat – coming in; now seems the situation has changed to managing the reality of the bug being about in the local community, ready to terminate, A-‘symptomate’. The ongoing threat is taking its own unique toll, not in the same vein as the UK and the US obviously at present where things are vastly more dangerous, though at any point we might pay for similar summer mistakes as social distancing and mask etiquette was seemingly forgotten altogether during Boxing Day sales in suburban Sydney twas cheek-to-cheek in store as it were. So we berated #BLM# but infectious sales-fever is an essential protest by comparison. Nope, maybe something’s amiss else remiss! I wonder what our ‘heshem-armed’ firefighters would make of all this, what they would advise given they lived in a certain prosperous era back in the late 60s in Oz. It’s amazing to think about the massive technology revolution and how we have superbly adapted to many of the challenges as individuals and collectively as a data-driven society now. In some instances the only way to communicate with some online players tis via FAQ only by contrast to the 60s. How sad our mass set and forget society wins out against the customer is alright, in that in most instances these days this is no longer true nor a valued as the customer is increasingly being silenced and left by the roadside. The Pandemic is an opportunity by necessity to hold a re-think on a great many issues and problems, after the fire! We have come so so close to viral disaster here in Oz just this longest of past years and it is stressful. I pondered over Christmas that maybe letting it go unchecked is a certain fulfilling prophesy and law of social psychology so will have to see if that plays out in the end but for now if we can hold the line again it will obviously save short pain. Unfortunately though, it seems the virus might have been in circulation in NSW now unchecked for about one month or so. Rail staff were briefed apparently on commuters travelling home to quarantine via the large CityRsil Network and so is it just a matter of time and this time as with Black Saturday the wet heshem bags won’t suffice agains a wildfire that is difficult to see, plot and treat – tis out of control still in many countries. Even the vaccines don’t seem safe and there has been deaths just associated with this, let alone tis the vaccine that is meant to ultimately defend us. We certainly will need a big rethink after the virus is done fighting with us. There is the matter of health bills to pay obviously and the economy somehow keeps operating largely boosted by online adaptations, yet nothing lasts forever and we risks very real global economic threat, are fighting with our trading friends and the whole world is just in a whirl at the moment, a case very much of what’s next and this most ominous of years is not even over. So to be sure, there has to be some gratitude in today! We are not at the point of many other countries, where the toll is unthinkable and unfathomable and the fatigue from the hopelessness likely equates to more physical pain. We are literally a throw of the dice away from either probability, engaged in a COVID Lotto of sorts where the stakes are beyond a sustainable loss! We are on the edge and on a high; many are oblivious else feel immune. We must if we can also try to help our global friends in their struggle to manage should we manage our own seemingly imminent spread. Surely to be in poverty with COVID would have to be the very worst sort of fear there is, alone and snd knowing… A very deep scar will remain visible on the world akin to Black Saturday, where the upper-stratosphere was apparently scorched and loved ones were lost, fears were realised and the Smokey reminder lingered through winter. So too countless life and damage ensues as the COVID global wildfire lingers all the while perhaps into months or longer the smoke will cede less Hell itself opens in the new year. So a timely Happy New Year 2020 to EVERYONE this year as many have earned by survival the right just to be here. There are other people missing from the table, disenfranchised this year to be sure, hence you celebrate whilst you can irrespective, others are yet to commiserate and still others being scorched! Best perhaps we pray this year than party and not to venture too far irrespective. Due to the wildfires it seems our life has collectively suffered shock, just as in families this will be transferred but on a cultural than family scale. So party indeed whilst we can New Years 2020, take each day as tis given and I suppose best be safe and take personal responsibility for our COVID vision, as nothing these days seems is a given.

Psychosocial Services, Social Work, Wollongong NSW

LGTP2P Needs Eleven More Likes To Receive Facebook Rating: so close yet so far.

Please visit the Page on Facebook by following our link if you “like” our mission to serve as peers and professionals, sharing hope, resources, meaning and skill to, well, people affected by loss, grief and or trauma.

By Mark Wilder

Social Work



Dynamic Current Risk Factors Suicidality (FMC-PPs)

°Expressing suicidal ideas
°Previous serious attempt Has plan/intent
°Family history of suicide °Expresses high level of distress
°Major psychiatric diagnosis °Hopelessness/perceived loss of
coping or control over life
°Major physical disability/illness °Recent significant life event
°Separated/Widowed/Divorced °Reduced ability to control self
°Loss of job/retired
°Current misuse of drugs/alcohol



Social Work

2020-2021 Service Update:

Psychosocial Services
Mark R Wilder MSW-R
Mark is a clinical social worker & counsellor, qualified with a general postgraduate registration degree and a specialist post-registration higher degree in social work. He operates in private practice as the owner of Psychosocial Services near Wollongong in NSW. Mark subsequently has 25 years various general and clinical experience and also responds to off-site critical incidents for an EAP multinational more recently. Main service areas invlude:
* Loss, Grief & Trauma Counsellor
* CBT for Anxiety & Mood
* EAP and CI-D
* NDIS Provider
* Reports & Assessments
* Suicidality Consultancies
* Drug & Alcohol Addiction Education
* Supervising Social Worker
* Clinical Case Coordinator
* Intake, Referral & Advocacy Services
*Behaviour Counselling & psycho-education
*Peer Support

*For more information please don’t hesitate to make contact by calling or texting us on 0433462463. Saturdays 9:00am-6:00pm…!

Social Work


Psychosocial Services provides a variety of services related to social work and counselling related consultation. These services range from consults to assist individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities. More specifically the service specialises in grief & loss, trauma counselling, CBT for high prevalence anxiety, mood and related problems, participates widely regarding issues to do with suicidality, like alternatives to ED, community capacity building, lived experience and personal services in this regard. We also assist in the preparation of technical reports to assist with the readiness of claimants. Psychosocial services is active in social media and have offices in Sydney and the Illawarra areas of New South Wales, Australia. We are an Accredited Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and other related associations, such as Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement (ACGB), Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMHA) and are internationally active as part of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science, of which we are a professional member (ACBS-P). More recently Psychosocial Services has become involved in the provision of Employer Assistance Programs, where we provide confidential counselling services, critical incident response & debrief & training services to organisations regarding mental health wellbeing. Psychosocial Services also participates in a philanthropic endeavour to advance provision related to the above and emerging areas of interest to social work, social justice, advocacy and promotes genuine, empathy & warmth as core values to guide our various missions, interests and activities. Please don’t hesitate to make contact should you require further information or have a specific enquiry. Thank you!


Social Work

Safe Space, Middle Ground & Suicidality Tests.

A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes of what appears to be a growing epidemic of suicidality. It is difficult to make all-encompassing statements amid the crisis because there are always exceptions to such a highly contextual matter.

In addressing the epidemic, a sway of approaches have been applied. For some professional intervention seems indicated. For others it seems being able to speak to others who have variously experienced suicidality is tremendously helpful and interventions that are aimed at assisting all within community to participate in bringing about change and support gain momentum.

For me as a social worker with lived experience of suicidality, it has become clear that there is no one approach, no simple answer or magical words to ensure people who do battle with the crisis will always defeat an adversary that refuses to play fair. One thing I have learned, however, that seems to hold some consesus, is that asking the question and saying the words: ‘are you thinking about taking your life by suicide’, will not directly lead to an event. The same might not be able to be said where we avoid asking the question though.

But we all know it is just not this simple, playing word games, as we battle the tragedy of suicide. Defeating the epidemic is obviously just not a simple effort, despite the fact some very effective models have been identified. The stigma and apparent naivity associated with suicidality still largely exists despite best effort. How one goes about talking to those affected or with those amid the battle is not always as straight forward as we might hope. Often we might erroneously feel tremendous inroads have been made, only to find out how wrong we were.

I have found that talking with a genuine ear, that shows warmth and empathy is a good start. The skill of listening with an active ear, providing genuine support and not judging the content disclosed, is very often a good start though, when we are confronted by what can very often be a very difficult conversation.

Many see suicide as an urge that builds and torments, whilst others see it as a more chronic event, where our psyche is at odds with an external reality. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, blame or shame in a general sense when we encounter someone affected by suicide. Very often placing a person behind lock and key is not the answer, whilst having a simple conversation may miss the mark. It seems the answer lays somewhere between the way we listen and the way we respond – obviously. Assessing the risk can be variously approached, we can look at triggers, history, plans and means but still a guarantee can remain elusive. I think asking what it is that might help does go someway near the middle ground though. Asking the person how they seem to arrive during the lead-up and how they battled the situation in the past also seems to address the middle ground.

Of course stating that we care and are willing to be an open-ear and to be a support may offer more meaningful assistance by comparison to avoidance or disenfranchisement though. For some, the answers might arrive via the trained ear and clinical judgement of a professional, whilst for others simple acceptance of something that hitherto has been very painful, difficult or stigmatising might even save a life. Hopefully some of the broader community based interventions might one day ultimately address the complexities often apparent in the situation, like how the provision of information about the harmful effects of smoking helped once we started talking to youngsters in schools and learning how to variously say no well before confronted, seems to have lead to dramatic modern day reduction in the uptake of smoking.

Maybe one day we will look back upon the present epidemic of suicidality in just such a way as we once did regarding smoking cessation. For now though, it might be wise not to rush to such a conclusion. Ask anyone and it seems few can honestly say they haven’t at some stage with varying frequency, intensity, duration and number – seen killing themselves as the answer to a very difficult life experience. A great deal of harm has been caused unto those who have sought formal help and also for those who have not. I guess by now the reader is starting to realise that the closer we get the further away we seem in the fight against suicide and also regarding support for their loved ones.

Of course suicidality is not a new phenomenon and almost seems to be there, lurking in the background all the while, as part of the human condition. Often love is not enough, yet simultaneously the lack thereof can act as the tipping-point. It seems that getting the balance right, finding common ground, just the right type of support and assisting people to reach-out when necessary is almost as close as we might be going to get for a time. Despite all this and the variousness of everybody’s role in the epidemic of suicidality, we must still maintain a role – whatever it might be – dependent on context, acceptance, willingness to support or not and knowing when to back-off, if we are to maintain vigilance and to find a way ahead that is supportive enough for those variously affected by the epidemic of suicidality, to find the right space, a safe space, their own space so we might begin to turn the tide on suicide.

But please don’t ever give up, don’t let meaninglessness and pain or fear to seek your right kind of help from ever stopping you from allowing suicidality to win. Sometimes amid the worst we can find the best – by leaving ourselves vulnerable, stumble upon resilience and in facing our test or our greatest fear, find the freedom that was there all the while. In doing so, what was once our worst might in future, upon reflection, become our best. Please – please – find the way to be your best. And don’t be afraid to ask others to help with the rest!

I know all too well the toll of this greatest test!

Social Work

The “Gift” & Post-traumatic Loss

It is true that amid the turmoil of traumatic grief that allowing ourselves to experience the pain, finally accept the reality, accepting the unacceptable can lead to new meaning about life and death and in so doing arrive at a place where we see “the gifts” our loved ones leave for us in evidence of their existence. Time and again the notion of “the gift” is met with doubt as we move through the pendulum of moving through life without the physical proximity of those we have lost. Sure enough “the gift” arrives in due course, providing us with a way forward, with meaning, amidst the pendulum of trauma and recovery – where the pain and the shame, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong find its middle ground as remembrance!