|“Navigating the labyrinth of grief with support, information and strategies”
From here on I know I will have some sad days but now I have the skills and support to help me cope.– Bereaved husband
When I lost my son to suicide I felt so alone and confused. The bereaved by suicide group was the only place I felt safe to show the pain I was in.– Bereaved mother
It is difficult to describe the amazing journey and growth I've experienced in the group - the meetings were a safe oasis where I found peace in my pain.– Bereaved sister
Counselling and Group Programs
Dr. Diana Sands is the Director of the Bereaved by Suicide Centre for Intense Grief, Lower North Shore, Sydney.
Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists: arcapregister.com.au
For over two decades Dr. Sands has provided counselling for loss and grief following sudden, violent and traumatic death and in particular individual, couple and family counselling for those who have lost a loved one through suicide.
This kind of grief is so intense it can shatter a person’s world. I create a safe haven to support the process of putting together the pieces and telling their story, with the loved one as a valued resource and comfort to assist in coping with grief.
Dr. Sands an experienced family and narrative therapist draws on a range of counselling modalities and expressive artwork in supporting those bereaved. The counselling practice and unique mutual-help therapeutic, psycho-educational group programs for those bereaved by suicide are based on her research in suicide grief and the 'Tripartite Walking in the Shoes Model of Suicide Bereavement'. The group programs provide a space for a community of grievers to meet, gain support, resilience, and understanding with others who are also bereaved as they rebuild their life.
Community Activities, Education and Training
Dr. Sands is the Professional Advisor to Wings of Hope Inc., the voice of people bereaved by suicide, and is active in working on committees and conferences that educate and increase awareness about loss and grief issues. Diana also lectures on suicide prevention, postvention and intervention at the Jansen Newman Institute of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy and provides understanding loss and grief seminars, community talks and training workshops for professionals in Australia and Internationally.
Diana is the author of a number of publications, including book chapters, academic journal articles and recently a book and DVD titled the 'Red Chocolate Elephants: For Children Bereaved by Suicide'. This workbook and DVD resource offers practical ways to sensitively engage with children about the difficult questions of a death through suicide. To place an order or find out more information, click here.
The Open to Hope Foundation provides an online forum with information and support so that people who experience loss can learn to cope with their pain, heal their grief, and invest in their future.
Wings of Hope – Remembrance Day Gathering 2015
Diana with Leigh White and Nic Newling at Remembrance Gathering November 2015.
For more information, please visit
Red Chocolate Elephants on ABC Radio National
Cathy VanExtel of ABC Radio National produced today's story on The Red Chocolate Elephants DVD/books being delivered to schools and those in need in the Riverina region.
Listen to Wendy McWilliam, Acting President Wings of Hope and Lexi King, Volunteer, Friends of Pastoral Care, Leeton District Hospital speaking along with excerpts from Red Chocolate Elephants resource.
Diana with Lismore Mayor, Jenny Dowell and Rose Hogan, NSW North Coast Coordinator StandBy at the recent Red Chocolate Elephant Workshop held in Lismore.
Weaving a Community Response in Hobart
Suicide & Self-Harm Prevention Conference 2015
Dr. Diana Sands is presenting a Pre-Conference Workshop at the Suicide & Self Harm Prevention Conference, Cairns June 2015.
Restoring the heartbeat of hope for those bereaved by suicide: the ‘walking in the shoes model. » read more
Red Chocolate Elephants presentation in Melbourne
Dr. Diana Sands will be presenting on Red Chocolate Elephants at Childhood trauma Conference Melbourne, August 2014
The 4th Australian Postvention Conference 2014
The 4th Australian Postvention Conference 2014 is being held 5th-7th June 2014 at the University of New South Wales. » read more
Restoring Heartbeat of Hope
Dr. Diana Sands will be presenting workshops in Sydney, New South Wales » read more
Suicide Prevention through Postvention: Workshops in USA
Dr. Diana Sands will be presenting workshops in the US. » read more
Survivors of Suicide Loss workshops in Canada
Dr. Diana Sands will be presenting 'Survivors of Suicide Loss' workshops in Canada. » read more
» read more
“The Red Chocolate Elephants is a remarkable resource for children bereaved by suicide. This book will be an excellent resource for parent and child to use together in trying to face the suicide of a loved one...”
— John R. Jordan, PhD, International Author, Professional Advisor Survivor Council of American Foundation Suicide Prevention, Clinical Consultant Samaritans Boston Grief SupportPlace an Order
When a loved one dies by suicide there will be lots of confusing and different feelings that are hard to find the words for. Children need reassurance that they are loved and that nothing they did caused the death. Most children will have a limited understanding about what suicide means and will look for information from adults that they trust, to help them make sense of this raw and painful experience. Your readiness to listen, talk and support will assist their understanding and help them develop the resilience to cope...
• Group Programs
• Community Education and Training Workshops
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