Only three in ten (30%) people in Ireland believe there are enough supports available for those who have experienced loss. This is according to an iReach survey that Irish Hospice Foundation commissioned in December 2023.
The research (1,000 people) also found that:
- Almost three out of four Irish people are clear that being together with extended family and friends is a key part of the grieving process.
- However, one in every two Irish people struggle to know what to say to a person who is grieving or how to support them.
- The study revealed a notable increase in funeral attendance, with six in ten (64%) respondents having attended a funeral in the past year, a big increase since our last survey during Covid in 2021 when 48% had attended a funeral.
More generally, over half of the Irish population (51%) expressed that discussions around death and dying are insufficient, although comfort levels in discussing such topics have dropped by 18% since 2016, with just over 6 in 10 individuals (63%) claiming they feel at least relatively comfortable discussing dying and death.
About National Grief Awareness Week 2024
Today, we’re launching National Grief Awareness Week (January 22nd to January 28th), aiming to raise awareness about the importance of acknowledging and supporting individuals who have been bereaved. We’re hosting this campaign in January — a time which can be difficult for many people, including those who are grieving.
Through National Grief Awareness Week, we hope to encourage people to be more grief aware, to have conversations about this typically uncomfortable subject and have created a suite of resources to help both professionals and individuals to raise awareness of National Grief Awareness Week 2024 on social media, at work and in the community.
As part of National Grief Awareness Week, we’re also holding two free online events:
- Living with Loss on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 pm: This event is for any member of the public who has experienced a bereavement or may be concerned about or wish to help a child or friend who is grieving.
- Lunch & Learn: Grief in the Workplace, Thursday, February 1 at 12:30 pm: For employers and employees on the importance of supporting colleagues who have been bereaved.
Amanda Roberts, National Bereavement Development Manager at Irish Hospice Foundation, said:
“As the nation’s leading charity dedicated to addressing dying, death, and bereavement, Irish Hospice Foundation strives to ensure that individuals facing end of life or bereavement receive the necessary care and support. Our research shows that there are gaps in the support available to the Irish public, as well as a drop in the level of comfort people feel discussing these issues. National Grief Awareness week is a great opportunity to open the conversation around death and bereavement in Ireland, and Irish Hospice Foundation, through its resources and services, is here to support people to do so.”
Learn more about National Grief Awareness Week events and campaign resources.
Bereavement Support Line
Our Bereavement Support Line on 1800 80 70 77 is a freephone service, open Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm, excluding bank holidays. Outside of these hours, an automatic call-back option is available. This service, partially funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE), aims to provide support to individuals navigating the challenges of grief and loss and is a confidential safe space for those who have lost a loved one, friend or colleague or for anyone concerned about someone else one who is grieving.