A new report launched (Sept 11th, 2018) calls for specialised bereavement support services for families impacted by a drug related death. The report, completed by Dr Sharon Lambert (UCC) in partnership with the National Family Support Network, is the first of its kind in Ireland and identifies the complex grief, isolation and stigma which face families who have lost a loved one through drug and alcohol misuse.
‘Completing this report was a truly emotional process, hearing first-hand the stories of family members who had lost their children, partners, parents and loved ones to drugs and alcohol use is absolutely heart-breaking. The lack of appropriate services and supports for these families was a reoccurring theme in both urban and rural areas and I hope that the research will contribute towards the development of specialised and accessible supports for those affected’ Dr Sharon Lambert, UCC
Hosted in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Building on Green Street, Dublin 7, the event also marks the launch of a new bereavement support service based in Dublin’s north inner city. The service will provide support and advocacy for families who have experienced a drug related death and is the first of its kind in Ireland. The issue of drug related deaths and the impact on families has been a core piece of the National Family Support Network’s work for over two decades. An umbrella body for families affected by substance misuse, the organisation called for the establishment of a Drug Related Death Index over 15 years ago;
‘At the beginning, we knew that to capture the true scale and sheer size of the issue, we needed to campaign for the establishment of a drug related death index. This index has now been reporting since 2004, we know now for example, that in 2015, 695 people died of a drug related death, leaving 695 grieving families behind. This report gives a voice to these numbers while this new specialised bereavement service can respond to the needs of these family members in a non-judgemental and inclusive way’ (Sadie Grace, CEO).
Regina Doherty, Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection will officially launch the report and service.
The event will also host the first preview of the short film ‘Aftermath’ developed by THEATREclub (Grace Dyas/Barry O’Connor) in collaboration with family members affected by substance misuse.
Source: The Family Support Network, 11/09/18