This Christmas, we want to remind you about our Bereavement Support Line, available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. The service aims to provide solace and support to individuals who have lost a loved one, friend, or colleague, allowing them to openly discuss their grief and loss.
This service is not exclusive to recent bereavements but is also open to those who have experienced loss in the past. Callers to the line may have lost a parent, spouse, child, sibling or close friend. Some deaths have been sudden and unexpected, others coming after an illness. All callers are welcome and that people mourn different relationships – for example, we have had callers who struggle with the loss of a pet.
Additionally, professionals in the healthcare sector, such as general practitioners, occupational therapists, nurses, and hospitals, can also contact the support line for information regarding local bereavement services available to their patients or clients. Family members and friends seeking information about bereavement support for their loved ones can also reach out to inquire about counselling services or social support options.
In 2022, under 1,500 calls were made to the Bereavement Support Line. Surpassing these numbers, the line has already received over 2,000 calls up to the end of November.
While the service has seen a slight increase in male callers, currently standing at 30% compared to 26% in 2022, more efforts are needed to encourage male participation.
Catherine Tierney, Bereavement Clinical Lead at Irish Hospice Foundation, said:
“Our experience is that men are more reluctant to reach out and phone the line. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing – Irish men aren’t known for talking about their feelings so easily. Culturally it might have been seen as a sign of weakness to cry or show emotion. Thankfully, that is changing. But the research also tells us that some men prefer to channel their grief into a project, something constructive or physical, like getting involved in the charity that supported their loved one, starting a new charity or advocating for better services. We want to spread the message that the Bereavement Support Line is here for anyone missing a loved one this Christmas.”
All agents working on the support line are volunteers who have received training in grief and loss and in how to provide support over the telephone. Many of them have completed Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Masters in Loss and Bereavement or Professional Certificate in Children & Loss programs.
Anonymity is highly respected by the Bereavement Support Line, allowing calls to remain confidential. Callers only need to provide their contact details if they wish to receive leaflets or signposting information.
Call the Bereavement Support Line: 1800 80 70 77