From the Australian Men’s Health Forum website:
“The Significant Response to COVID-19 champions any individual, group or program that has responded effectively to the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and health of men and boys.
Dads In Distress support groups began life on a verandah in Coffs Harbour. Now run by Parents Beyond Breakup (PBB), the charity’s network of peer support groups for separated dads were closed overnight because of COVID-19. PBB rose to the challenge by launching the “Virtual Verandah” – a series of online support groups that have maintained contact with existing dads and reached new clients in the process.”
— AMHF article ends —
- Parents Beyond Breakup is a national Australian charity that runs community-based peer support programs called Dads in Distress (DIDs) and Mums in Distress (MIDs).
- Each year, we interact with and support separating parents between 6,000 and 12,000 times; recent research shows that just over half of those that come to us are feeling suicidal. Over 80% say that PBB is the best or only relevant support that they could find.
- When the COVID19 pandemic lead to community support groups needing to close, PBB had the choice of temporarily suspending its peer to peer support or to evolve and go online very fast. Given how often our parents are reporting feeling suicidal, and the increased need for support during the pandemic, suspending services was not an option.
- PBB went online within hours, with two alternative approaches – (a) free daily video conference support meetings and (b) a safe free online forum called the ‘Virtual Veranda’.
- The new online groups have since shown us the ability to reach many more Australian’s in need, that would not normally have been able to access support locally. As the pandemic restrictions lift, and our in-person groups slowly reopen, the new online groups will stay ensuring that all those that need support, regardless of where they are based, can access this life-saving service.
- PBB operates its award-winning support with minimal funding relying very heavily on the goodwill of volunteers that work tirelessly to help others like them in distress. If you’d like to support our work, please donate, raise awareness or volunteer!