Bereavement Support

Bereavement Support

PIPS Newry & Mourne  are a self-help charity for parents; other family members; partners; friends or anyone who is suffering from grief through suicide. Through local meetings and contacts it puts bereaved parents in touch with others in their area and promotes mutual support. As well as literature on bereavement. The PIPS Newry & Mourne support group meets on the last wednesday of each month at 8pm.  It is an open door policy and anyone who is bereaved through suicide is welcome to this informal setting with others who have simular experiences and can share thoughts and undertstanding.


Self-help groups for the bereaved

Self-help groups for people bereaved through suicide provide the chance to meet and talk with others who have suffered a similar loss. This may be consoling in itself, given the feelings of those bereaved in this way that they are 'different'. Sharing feelings and experiences with others through group meetings can provide valuable reassurance. Unfortunately the existence of such groups is not widespread in Ireland although some local suicide bereavement groups do exist.


Your General practitioner may be able to help you in a number of ways during bereavement: (i) by listening, talking and offering emotional support, (ii) by helping you with problems such as sleeplessness, anxiety or depression, prescribing drugs if necessary, (iii) by advising you on other sources of help and referring you to others e.g. counsellor, bereavement organisation or psychiatrist. Some GPs working in large group practices have counsellors at their surgeries. The degree of emotional support offered by GPs during bereavement will vary from doctor to doctor. Some are more at ease talking about emotional issues with their patients than others. The bereaved tend to visit their doctor more often than usual in the months following a death. However, during a short appointment, it may not always be easy to start talking about all that has happened. One way around this may be to write to your doctor before your appointment, telling him or her of your loss and explaining a little of how you are feeling. Those bereaved through suicide report mixed responses from their GPs. The prescribing of drugs during bereavement, for sleeplessness, anxiety or depression, is a particularly sensitive issue. Some people struggling with loss feel strongly that there are 'no pills for grief'. Others are relieved by medication which helps them to sleep or feel calmer. What seems clear is that the prescribing of pills should never be a 'substitute' for emotional support.



If you wish for more time to talk things through, or longer term support, a counsellor may be able to help you. Counselling provides an opportunity to talk, in confidence, to someone experienced in listening to people in distress, who will not be shocked by your emotions. It may be a relief to talk to someone who is a stranger and who can provide a safe environment in which you may vent and explore your feelings. Counselling needs to be distinguished from the kind of talking therapy that lasts for a long time and looks at the roots of present difficulties in past experiences (psychotherapy or psychoanalysis) Counselling will not force you to delve into the past. Instead it offers help with the emotional crisis and life changes you may currently be facing. If you feel you would benefit from counselling please contact the office and we can arrange to meet and discuss your concerns


Church and religion

If you hold religious beliefs these may be a source of strength and support as you try to cope with your loss. Many people bereaved by suicide and other types of death find their local religious leader an invaluable source of help and often one through which they can obtain counselling as well as support. This source of support is usually open to everyone, not just people who have been religious throughout their lives.


Lifeline N.I.


Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.

People living in Northern Ireland can call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. Deaf and hard of hearing Textphone users can call Lifeline on 18001 0808 808 8000. Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.

Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and help, in confidence.

Lifeline counsellors are experienced in working with trauma, suicide, self-harm, abuse, depression and anxiety. You will receive immediate help on the phone. Should you need further support we can provide a face-to-face counselling appointment or complementary therapy in your local area within seven days.

Lifeline also provides support and guidance to families and carers, concerned friends, professionals, teachers, youth workers, clergy and communities. Remember, Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just call.


The Samaritans

The Samaritans provide a national 24 hour confidential telephone service. They offer befriending and a listening ear to anyone who is feeling desperate or suicidal or is going through any sort of personal crisis including bereavement. They are available at all hours, every day of the year. The Samaritans have a number branches around Ireland and during the day it is also possible to visit these branches to talk to someone in person. Your local branch of The Samaritans will be listed on the Emergency pages and under 'S' in the local telephone. directory.


Rejection and abandonment

Those bereaved by suicide may experience a sense of rejection. It is common to feel abandoned by someone who 'chose' to die. As one sister whose brother took his life recalled: "I was upset that he hadn't come to talk to us. I think we all went through anger at some point. You think: 'How could you do this to us?' ".