Support services for those affected by suicide
Many people have a role to play in providing appropriate assistance within the first few hours following a death by suicide. These people include the Gardai, Coroners, health professionals and funeral directors. If you are, or have been bereaved by suicide you may experience a range of emotions including shock, disbelief, guilt and anger. As suicide may occur unexpectedly or be very sudden, this makes it traumatic for those left behind (particuarly for family and friends).
Even though this is an extremely difficult time, there are important practical and material matters that can and will arise after any death. Information for the Bereaved has been specially written to help guide you through all the issues and all the stages. It contains information such as what to do immediately after a death, possible social welfare entitlements, tax, financial and legal issues that can and will arise. This booklet also contains information about where to go for further information and support.
It's important to be aware that there are a range of organisations throughout Ireland that can help if you have been bereaved through suicide or if you find yourself in a supporting role to someone who has been bereaved in this way. Each situation involving suicide is different and people react in different ways.
If you are in a supporting role it is important to be extremely sensitive to the needs of the bereaved person. It's also important to know that if you are in a supportive role, there may come a time when you find that you can no longer offer the level or standard of support that is needed. The following organisations can help. They will offer you advice, information and support during this very distressing time and can also help put you in touch with other people in your area that have been through this experience.
National Office for Suicide Prevention
The National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) was established within the Health Service Executive in 2005 to oversee the implementation of the first National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention (pdf). NOSP supports the implementation of the current national strategy, Connecting for Life, and co-ordinates suicide prevention efforts around the country. It also works closely with the Health Sevice Executive's Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention.
There is a network of Suicide Prevention Resource Officers appointed in the Health Service Executive (HSE) across Ireland that provide information on local support services for those who have been bereaved through suicide.
Information on other organisations providing bereavement support is available from the Child and Family Agency.