A new national bereavement support line has been launched by the Irish Hospice Foundation, with the aim of helping people who are grieving during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 restrictions have completely changed the way people grieve in Ireland. Until recently, funerals could have no more than 10 people in attendance, and this has only been increased to 25 since June 8.
Social distancing must be adhered to, so it is not possible to come together as people previously did. As a result, many people are grieving in isolation.
This new services hopes to provide "connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times".
"Many people have experienced, and will experience, the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic. It may have been a COVID-related death or a death from other causes. People may also be finding a previous bereavement more difficult at this time.
"While we may be seeing reductions in the number of deaths connected to COVID-19, we know that people's pain and grief does not diminish as quickly," the foundation said.
The support line, which is being run in partnership with the HSE, is now available from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. It aims to provide comfort and emotional support to people who are grieving, as well as information on practical supports.
It also offers support to employers who want to inform the care their workplace can offer to bereaved colleagues.
The service is confidential and is free of charge. Call 1800 80 70 77.
A series of resources on grief and loss are also available on the foundation's Care & Inform hub here.
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