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Mental Health

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

I am very pleased to issue the third edition of You Are Not Alone: Help and advice on coping with the death of someone close. When we lose someone close to us, not only do we have to deal with many practical issues, we are also faced with the huge emotional challenges of dealing with our loss, making sense of the death, and trying to shape our lives to accommodate our loss. This booklet, and its companion You Are Not Alone: Directory of Bereavement Support Services , are intended to provide some help and guidance to support you during a diffi cult time. These documents were developed as resources to help people bereaved by suicide. However, the information and support services may also be of use to individuals and families who have been bereaved in other ways. Section 1 and 2 of this booklet discuss the immediate reactions and natural responses to a death by suicide. Sections 3 and 4 deal with the events that follow death, including inquests and post mortems, and provide advice on dealing with the very practical matters such as fi nancial and legal issues. Section 4 also contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Section 5 provides direction on where to go for help and support. The companion booklet You Are Not Alone: Directory of Bereavement Support Services contains contact details for support services across the country. Since the last edition, the NOSP, in conjunction with Console and Turas le Chéile, published National Quality Standards for the Provision of Suicide Bereavement Services: A practical resource (2012) . This document provides a framework for the delivery of suicide bereavement support services in Ireland, recognising the four levels of service delivery. It can be accessed on and . I would like to thank Ciaran Austin from Console, the suicide bereavement support service, for his help in reviewing and updating this booklet. Death by suicide is an overwhelming loss that can leave families, friends and communities besieged by a range of emotions and many unanswered questions. While the pattern of grief is unique to individuals, many people experience similar reactions. The need to understand why a person took his/her own life is one of the questions that a bereaved person will face. Making sense of the death, trying to find an explanation and dealing with “could I have prevented the death”, or “am I to blame” are all part of the emotional turmoil that the bereaved can experience. Ultimately, the bereaved will have to live with their loss, in their own individual way, albeit without having all the answers. Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to understand what has happened. Although a stressful event may appear to have been the trigger it will seldom have been the sole reason for death. What is important is to grieve and to come to a state of acceptance. While grieving never completely ends, the pain will soften over time. At some stage over the course of grieving, a conscious choice may need to be made, to fully live life again. Asking “why” is important, but sometimes the answer may never be found. Suicide is often the result of a complex combination of several significant factors. In the end, there may be no way to fully understand the deceased’s frame of mind at the time of death. Getting through the experience, moving beyond the puzzlement of why and learning to fully function again are important challenges in the grieving process.

Created by:  Tallaght Medical Practice

Publication date:   1/16/15

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Tallaght Medical Practice

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TLC-DOC is a service provided by local GPs, with the support of the HSE, and located in Tallaght Cross west across from Aldi Tallaght Rd, Cookstown, Dublin. Local GPs have formed a cooperative to provide out-of-hours care for their own patients. This service will provide GP appointments for urgent medical conditions on weekday evenings and weekends. 1890 20 22 24 Please do not ring this number before 6.00 pm Monday - Friday, or 10.00 Sat/Sun & Bank Holidays.

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