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01 Oct 2022

Peer support group for people bereaved by suicide set to be launched in Louth next week

Local volunteers bring suicide support to Waterford

HUGG, a registered charity, provides a safe, confidential environment where those bereaved by suicide can share their experiences and feelings, and receive and offer support to each other.

A dedicated peer support group for people bereaved by suicide is set to be launched for people in Louth and Meath starting on Tuesday, November 16th.

Healing Untold Grief Groups (HUGG) is a peer support group for people who have been bereaved by suicide, where people can share their experiences and feelings and receive and offer support to others.

According to the group, all of their support groups are lead by people who have lived experience and have been bereaved by suicide.

“HUGG focuses on ‘postvention’, a specific form of intervention which is conducted after a suicide in recognition of the increased risk of suicidal ideation among the bereaved friends and family,” said the group in a statement.

Locals Sarah Kerr and Alan Martin have both signed up as facilitators and went through a comprehensive training programme earlier this year, with both having a lived experience of suicide.

“Death by suicide hits everyone differently. Knowing you are in a safe, confidential space with others with a shared bond and lived experience is incredibly comforting and invaluable,” said Ms Kerr, who lost her brother Dylan to suicide in 2011.

“Being able to talk openly with others who understood my grief was such a relief. There is a great sense of companionship in the support group, it helps to know you are not alone in your journey.”

Fiona Tuomey, founder and CEO of HUGG said that she is delighted to have capable facilitators like Ms Kerr and Mr Martin to help those who need it.

“I know it will greatly benefit the local communities here and I hope we can continue recruiting more facilitators in Leinster to extend our services into other counties,” said Ms Tuomey.

The group itself is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has been bereaved by suicide, with the group set to meet in accordance with all Covid-19 regulations.

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