FirstLight is a trauma-informed organisation, offering a National 24-hour Helpline service, Crisis Intervention, and a Psychotherapy service. Our services are provided nationwide by our team of professionally accredited, fully insured and Garda vetted psychotherapists and counsellors. Our team members are professionally trained to provide support to clients experiencing trauma associated with the sudden death of their child. All of our services to families are free of charge and confidential.
As soon as FirstLight receives a referral, and provided the permission of the family is agreed, contact will be made with the family to arrange a home visit. Home visits are provided to bereaved parents, usually in the comfort and privacy of their own home. The visit is undertaken by a professionally trained psychotherapist who is also trained in Critical Incident Stress Management.
Although the grief being experienced will feel the same, how each individual processes and copes with it will differ. Some couples wish to go to therapy together to have a safe space to talk about their experience of their child’s death. Couple therapy offers couples a contained and safe space to explore together the impact of their child’s death on each other and on their relationship; it facilitates exploration of ways to understand and support each other through their individual grief, and what each individual needs within the relationship to help the healing process.
Psychotherapy offers a safe, supportive space to explore your grief and to process it, making it easier to make sense of how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. The fear of the intensity of the pain is reduced when it is held and witnessed by another. It is often challenging to self-regulate emotionally when the body and mind are suffering. Psychotherapy offers a regulating space which builds the resilience to work through this unique grief.
Play therapy is a service provided by FirstLight and is usually not offered within the first 6 months following the bereavement. When a child is referred for therapy, it is important that at least one parent has attended therapy themselves beforehand. This will make the process for the child and parent easier. An exception to this approach is considered in instances where a child is extremely distressed or suffering in a way that requires an earlier intervention.
Facebook Peer Support Groups
FirstLight’s online peer support groups are closed private groups providing the opportunity for bereaved mothers and fathers to connect with other mothers and fathers who are also grieving. These groups are monitored by an administrator and are a safe place for bereaved parents to share their stories, seek support from others and connect in their shared pain.
National 24-Hour Helpline
FirstLight provides an empathic, compassionate, friendly service by fully qualified psychotherapists, via its National 24-Hour Helpline.
It is a safe place to call and share your story.
The service supports callers in crisis; provides information; provides psychoeducation related to a sudden bereavement;and responds to queries one might have on the death of a child or the services provided by FirstLight.