Friends of StandBy

StandBy’s ‘Friends of StandBy’ initiative promotes awareness of suicide loss.
The aim of the program is to:

  • To help raise the profile of StandBy – Support after Suicide
  • To promote awareness of the impact of exposure to and/or bereavement after a suicide loss
  • Assist with promotion to help reduce stigma of mental health and suicide
  • Encourage people to improve help seeking behaviours and to speak up
Tara J Lal

We’re excited to announce a new ambassador for StandBy Support After Suicide … Tara J Lal, Senior Firefighter, PhD scholar and author of memoir ‘Standing on my Brother’s Shoulders: Making Peace with Grief and Suicide.

Through her book, Tara speaks of a difficult childhood with her father’s mental health concerns and her mother’s death (when she was 13), and the suicide of her older brother Adam, who tragically took his life four years after the loss of her mother. She speaks of how a ‘conversation’ with Adam (through the diaries he left behind), helped her to find her reason to live.

Now a Senior Fire Fighter, Tara has run the psychological wellbeing program for Fire and Rescue NSW and is trained in suicide prevention. She is a mental health first aid instructor and volunteers her time as part of the peer support team at Fire and Rescue NSW to support firefighters suffering from mental health conditions and in the wake of traumatic incidents.

She is also completing her PhD, which focusses on understanding the impact of exposure to suicide on firefighters both through the tragic suicides they encounter on the job as well as when a fellow firefighter takes their own life. Tara aims to use her research to develop evidence-based suicide preparedness, prevention and postvention programs for firefighters.

Tara is also a professional speaker, regularly sharing her experiences to a wide variety of organisations as a way to create connection and understanding of mental illness and suicide in the community.

StandBy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live. Our staff recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community and their continuing connection to land and water, and pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging.

Our organisation is a place where human rights are respected and people of diverse genders and sexual orientation are welcomed and supported.

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate support please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 000.

StandBy – an initiative funded by the Australian Government.
Post Suicide Support – an initiative funded by the NSW Government
StandBy is a program of Youturn Limited.