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Supporting those experiencing a life-challenging illness or bereavement

October 4, 2016

the-sanctuaryThrough your donations The Sanctuary Counselling Centre is providing specialized counselling for people living with a life-challenging illness or bereavement at a time when they are most at risk of falling into disadvantage. Highly accessible specialised counselling is needed without long delays at the time of crisis to facilitate healthy adjustment and regaining of meaningful ways forward. This helps prevent the risk of deepening trauma or developing unhealthy coping responses, such as substance abuse, anti-social behavior, suicidal risk. The Sanctuary is able to provide its free and low cost service to minimize this risk thanks to the $30,000 grant it receives from Give Where You Live Foundation.

Annie is an example of one person who has benefited from this service. In 2005 at just age 45 yrs, Annie and her partner faced the sad news that her husband had aggressive cancer.  They faced all the challenges of treatment together but sadly he died in 2006.  She had a incredible mentor in her father because together they had faced the earlier loss of her brother and mother.

However, when in 2010 Annie herself was diagnosed with cancer and required major surgery and chemotherapy, it brought up all the pain and distress of all the previous loss and illness she had managed. She felt that she needed some extra help to find the energy and motivation to keep going and she found that at The Sanctuary.  Counselling helped to focus her goals for herself whilst grieving the changes she had had to face.  She was also able to join the peer support group for Partner-Bereaved Women and enjoy talking with people who really understood and strengthen each other to recreate life after loss.  They offered friendship and support when she lost her beloved Dad in 2013 and had a recurrence of her cancer in 2014. Annie has overcome incredible challenges with her infamous wit and positive outlook and is now well and busy planning a holiday with friends in May.

Annie has had to maintain her job to support herself whilst coping with treatment.  Finances are hit hard when you lose a partner early in life and then have to cope with all the medical costs of your own treatment. This is why your donations make a difference, helping people when they are most at risk.