FirstLight offers to visit newly bereaved families and extended families in their own home. This visit provides families with information about the grief they are experiencing and informs them of the various support services available to them. Talking in the privacy of their own home empowers families. The take-up for home visits is 100% and parents report them as being very helpful.
The needs of bereaved children are addressed by FirstLight through play and one to one therapy, provided by fully qualified therapists accredited in play therapy. Individual and group work is provided throughout the country.
After the sudden loss, it is important, to be honest, and tell the siblings what has happened and to answer their questions truthfully. Each child will have their own way of working through their grief and should be encouraged to express their individual feelings. Like the parent, they will have questions to which there may be no answer but will need a truthful explanation as far as their age and vocabulary allow.
It is important to include siblings in the events and ceremonies which follow the death, as exclusion is likely to leave them feeling anxious, bewildered and alone. There is no age at which a child is too young to know what is happening. A young child may not understand but needs information, love and support.
Support groups provide parents with an opportunity to meet with other parents who share similar experiences. They provide a space to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a confidential setting, and they can ease feelings of isolation.
FirstLight support groups are facilitated by fully qualified and accredited psychotherapists.
Closed Therapeutic Programmes
FirstLight provides a closed therapeutic programme to groups of parents. This programme is specifically structured and designed to explore feelings and thoughts experienced following the death of a child. The programme runs once a month for four months, typically on Saturdays. It is offered to carefully selected participants and is facilitated by skilled psychotherapists with experience in group facilitation using a programme specially adapted to the participants’ needs.