Trust offers Support Groups for those Bereaved by Suicide

Danielle Gallagher Bereaved by Suicide Project Officer alongside Group Facilitators Rhoda Moore and Stephen Johnson.
Danielle Gallagher Bereaved by Suicide Project Officer alongside Group Facilitators Rhoda Moore and Stephen Johnson.

THE Northern Health and Social Care Trust Bereaved by Suicide Project (funded by the Public Health Agency) have released dates for their support group meetings in Ballymena and Coleraine for the 2013/14.

Losing a loved one to suicide presents special challenges in grieving with shock, guilt, blame and a heightened sense of helplessness tending to complicate the healing process. The Trust provides support groups in the local community for loved ones bereaved by suicide to share their loss with others who are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.

One client who attends one of the Groups said: “The support groups help us to come to terms with our bereavement in our own time and way. They are more like little sanctuaries, where, in safety and confidence, we can explore our feelings and perhaps start a healing process we did not imagine was possible.”

Bereaved by suicide support groups are available to anyone aged over 18 who has been bereaved by suicide.

The Ballymena Group will meet at 7.30pm in the Naomi Centre, 2 Cullybackey Road on the first Monday of each month; 2 September, 7 October, 4 November, 6 January, 3 March, 7 April, 12 May and 2 June.

The Coleraine group will meet at 7.30pm in the Sandel Centre, 6 Knocklynn Road on the second last Tuesday of each month; 17 September, 22 October, 19 November, 21 January, 18 February, 18 March, 22 April, 20 May, 17 June.

Bereavement Support Worker Danielle Gallagher says “The support groups provide families with an opportunity to meet other people who have lost a loved one to suicide. If people do not wish to share their journey they can still come along and listen to other people and gain an understanding of their grief and how to cope with it. The group provides hope and friendship to help each other cope with their loss.”

Information nights also have been planned for August offering an opportunity to meet with some group members and facilitators. On the night a client will share their journey and how they have received support from the group and also alternative therapy will be available to teach people about self-care.

The dates are Monday 5 August at 7.30pm in the Naomi Centre, Ballymena and Tuesday 20 August at 7.30pm in the Sandel Centre, Coleraine.

For catering purposes anyone interested in attending is asked to confirm their attendance by calling the number below.

For more information on the groups or to access individual counselling sessions please contact Danielle Gallagher on 028 2563 6607 or email Danielle.gallagher@northerntrust.hscni.net