*Content warning: This story contains references to infant deaths.

For Penny, a mother of three, life on the West Coast of Tasmania was just like its terrain: rugged, remote and isolated. Known to tourists for its adventurous hikes and picturesque landscapes, Penny’s outlook on life in her hometown was very different.

Unspeakable loss

Penny had recently experienced a stillborn birth. It was a gut-wrenching time for Penny. The incident also impacted Penny’s youngest son, Matty, who was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a younger sibling.

Living with autism and anxiety, seven-year-old Matty struggled to comprehend the death of his sibling. Struggling to regulate his emotions, Matty became more aggressive and lashed out at others.

With limited access to services in the isolated region on the West Coast of Tasmania, Penny needed all the help she could get. She reached out to our Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS) team when circumstances were getting too tough to handle.

Penny thinking during a sunset

Better days ahead

Our Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) team provides essential support to families in an area where services are difficult to access.

Our team worked with Penny to help manage her grief. Through ongoing sessions, Penny developed new coping strategies. She began to heal and set her sights on better days ahead.

Our IFSS team also set out to find a child psychologist for Matty. After lots of phone calls with different providers, we finally sourced a psychologist available to help Matty.

With an extended support system, Matty began smiling more and enjoying time with his family again.

IFSS helps promote the wellbeing and resilience of children and their families. Thanks to funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, IFSS provides early intervention for at risk children and families by helping them identify, resolve and address issues.

*Names changed to protect the people we help.

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