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.
Testimonials from FirstLight Families
“…In the days and weeks after Jake's funeral I did not want to live anymore. Thankfully I met Georgia from FirstLight in those first few weeks….. I am blessed to be pregnant now again and Georgia is helping me to navigate through my fear of losing this precious child while still helping me to process my grief for Jake. I am so grateful to FirstLight and especially to Georgia for so much care and support and I am so lucky to be alive in a time and a country where these supports are available to parents like me.”
“I have been attending First Light for over a year now since November 2020….I am dealing with the deaths of my 7 month old baby boy and wife….both under tragic circumstances. My counselling sessions every Wednesday have been hugely beneficial for me. I had been offered parents supports groups but these were in no way appropriate to my losses. I am able to have a 1 on 1 support session from my counsellor. Over this time, I have become more comfortable in talking about what happened to me, been given tips on how to deal with things and I am in a stronger place but will need a lot of continued visits to First Light…“
“2020 for me was a year from hell… I had no reason left to live. My first day in First Light.. I even thought about turning around and not going at all but my god was I wrong! …. We done weekly sessions and there was weeks I would be counting down the days until the next one. Georgia was really able to understand me and go at my pace…. She also really helped me threw my recent pregnancy and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without her help. Georgia told me one day eventually I wouldn’t need therapy.. but now 16 months later I have gone back into the work force and have a healthy baby boy all thanks to First Light & especially Georgia! “
“In May 2020 our little toddler passed away suddenly…We were completely heartbroken and lost. We were also worried about our three-year-old and we didn't know how to help him, or pull ourselves through the nightmare. Georgia made contact with us almost immediately...First Light guided us through this awful time. In the following months, when Covid restrictions eased, Georgia made a much appreciated home visit… She arranged counselling and play therapy for our family, which was funded by First Light. We are truly grateful to Georgia and the First Light team for helping us through the most difficult time of our lives.”
“The support I have received from FirstLight was life changing for me. My experience with grief created so many complex issues and to have someone who understands was a lifeline for me at my most vulnerable. I’m forever grateful”.