Anam Cara Cork announce new innovative approach to Bereavement Support for parents

16 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy

About 2000 families are devastated by the death of a child every year – where can they access support?

3 National Organisations, Anam Cara, Feileacain and Pieta House are combining their resources to support bereaved mothers and fathers by facilitating a Bereavement Support Evenings in Cork (Tuesday 25th February in Rochestown Park Hotel).

Every year tragically about 2,000 families experience the death of a son or daughter through different circumstances (CSO Statistics age 0 – 44 years). The cause of death includes: road traffic collisions, serious illness, stillbirth, suicide and accidents at home or abroad. A recent parent survey conducted by Anam Cara found that some parents were seeking specialised support after the tragic and sudden death of their child. In particular parents who have experienced the death of a baby or have been bereaved by suicide. This new innovative approach by Ireland’s main organizations specializing in parental bereavement will ensure parents are signposted to the service most suited and relevant for them around the circumstances of their child’s death.

Sharon Vard CEO Anam Cara “as a bereaved mother I would have welcomed attending an event like this where I could access the information and support our family needed in the aftermath of our Rachel’s death. We were so lost at that time and struggling with the grief and pain. To be able to get information and support we needed along with being with other parents who understood the devastation and the our pain would have helped”

Marie Cregan CEO Feileacain ‘There is no doubt the death of a child at any age is uniquely devastating and the intense grief can leave families feeling isolated and struggling to cope with the loss of their loved one’

The Cork Bereavement Support Evenings will give newly bereaved parents an opportunity to hear an experienced bereavement specialist speak on the many challenges and difficulties a mother or father face into after the death of their child, regardless of the age of their child or the circumstances of their death. The parents will then have an opportunity to connect with the organization that can provide them with the support they need at a very difficult time in their lives.

Josephine Kiernan – Bereavement Support Services – Pieta House commented ‘we are delighted with this partnership which will make sure parents have the opportunity to connect with the support service we provide to parents and adult siblings who have been bereaved by suicide.

Tickets are free for this event and can be found on

About Anam Cara –

Anam Cara was founded in 2008, by bereaved parents to address the lack of bereavement support services available for families in Ireland, who have experienced the death of a child. In particular, the families whose son or daughter died suddenly outside a hospital or hospice system who often find themselves beyond the realms of any bereavement services, struggling to cope with the intense grief and huge loss in their lives. In 2018 Anam Cara supported 2212 parents across 132 events including parents who had experienced the death of their only child or children.

About Feileacain –

Feileacain, like Anam Cara was founded by parents who had suffered the loss of a child in around the time of birth. The organization is now a national charity and support families who have suffered a perinatal death. Their aim is to provide Remembrance Boxes to all of the Maternity units and children hospital’s across the country. They also facilitate support meetings, offer a befriending service and phone support. In 2018/2019 Feileacain distributed 1500 memory boxes to families who experienced the death of their child in or around the time of birth.

About Pieta House –

In 2006, Pieta House opened its doors and since then have seen and helped over 40,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm. Pieta House now have fifteen centers across Ireland offering Suicide Bereavement Counselling, therapy and support to individuals, couples, families and children who have been bereaved by suicide. In 2018 alone, Pieta House saw 445 people who were bereaved by suicide ranging in ages from under 12 to over 65.

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