Strategic plan launched to support bereaved parents
IN A bid to ensure that no bereaved parent in Australia is left alone and isolated, Sands Australia has launched its inaugural Strategic Plan: Providing Hope and Understanding to Bereaved Parents Across Australia, 2015 - 2020.
"Despite the many advances in technology, research and medicine in the last decade, the rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn deaths have not changed. Sadly, approximately one in four pregnancies will result in miscarriage today in Australia and one baby in 120 born will be stillborn or die within the first 28 days of their life." said Sands CEO, Andre Carvalho.
"Over the last 35 years, Sands has made great strides in supporting bereaved parents. We launched our first National 24/7 Helpline, created strong support groups across many states, launched our live web chat support service, distributed key resources and delivered thousands of information sessions to midwives and healthcare professionals."
"But we cannot rest on our laurels. There are still many bereaved parents across the country who are suffering in isolation, feeling desperate, alone and without hope." adds Carvalho.
Sands is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support and information to parents and families who experience the death of a baby as well as offering resources and education to healthcare professionals.
The plan, which is a blueprint for the next five years, focuses on developing and expanding Sands services ensuring that support and information is accessible to all bereaved parents in Australia, regardless of their location or cultural background.
It also sets out initiatives to help healthcare professionals deliver the best possible care to bereaved parents including developing a new training programme and national care guidelines. Finally, the strategy will also see Sands continue to drive public awareness of a subject that is still a taboo for many, encouraging a more open and informed society when discussing pregnancy loss.
Like the thousands of bereaved parents that have accessed support from Sands, Bree Waters says "I don't know what I would have done without Sands after my daughter, Iris, was stillborn. It is very encouraging to see Sands committing to ensure that all bereaved parents in Australia have access to such compassionate understanding and support, just like I did."
Carvalho and the team at Sands are very excited about the road map for the next five years. "It is ambitious, yet much needed. There is a lot of work to do - we cannot do it alone. We hope to continue to draw on the support of our long term funders in the federal government, corporate sponsors, donors, fundraisers and the community at large."
"We look forward to shaping a new future for bereaved parents in Australia - one that is filled with understanding and hope," concludes Carvalho.