The Irish Hospice Foundation has launched a new support service for those who are bereaved. Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time.
While there may be reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, the Irish Hospice Foundation recognises that people’s pain and grief does not diminish as quickly. In the face of such loss and trauma, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times. COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. For the moment, it is not possible to come together as we did traditionally, resulting in additional challenges for those who are bereaved.
The Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line is a national freephone service 1800 80 70 77 which is available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.
They aim to:
• Provide a confidential space for people to speak about their experience or to ask questions relating to the death of someone during the COVID-19 pandemic or a previous bereavement that is more difficult at this time.
• Listen to what a person says about what has happened.
• Do their best to provide comfort and emotional support.
• Provide any information that might help the caller, including information on practical supports.
• Provide support for employers or professionals who want to inform the care their organisation can offer to bereaved colleagues.
Any adult who has been impacted by bereavement during the COVID-19 pandemic can call. This includes people who:
• May have been recently bereaved, through COVID-19 or a different cause of death
• May be concerned about somebody else who has been bereaved
• May wish to call because a previous bereavement feels more difficult at this time
• May be a professional who wants to inform the care their organisation can offer to bereaved colleagues