We offer educational programmes, publications, workshops, presentations, lectures, conferences and pamphlets for the suicide bereaved

F O S L was initiated in 2015 when a group of people bereaved by suicide in the Dublin area came together to offer each other support. In 2016 they began to work side by side with other suicide groups in facilitating group support meetings in Dublin City center for those bereaved by suicide. In 2017 they expanded their support group services to the greater Dublin communities along with providing from time to time educational programmes, publications, workshops, presentations, lectures, conferences and pamphlets for the suicide bereaved, appropriate professionals, counsellors and students, communities and agencies involved in support services for those affected by suicide as well as the general public at large, and raise awareness about suicide bereavement issues in general and reach out beyond the immediate community to liaise nationally and internationally with other similar bodies, communities and people working with the suicide bereaved. F O S L has made the city center of Dublin its focal point for meetings and a hub to service the surrounding communities and beyond.

Vision and Mission of FOSL

Our vision and mission is to provide adequate postvention services to the suicide bereaved in Dublin and nationwide, educate the general public about this work and highlight its merits.

For the people left behind after a suicide of a loved one the suffering for most is unique in the sense it contains elements not found in other forms of bereavement. Their lives are horrifically changed. Some cannot function with the shock, trauma, sleepless nights, emotional and physical pain, isolation, stigma, self-blame, guilt, anger to name just a few and of course the self-questioning why and what if etc. Some people’s lives become worthless. It is estimated that those bereaved by suicide become suicidal themselves from a scale of 2 to 10 compared to those not bereaved by suicide. This is coming from research such as Source Kimet al 2005;Runeson  & Asberg,2003 and our own experience from our members at FOSL. Hence we have suicide idealisation following a suicide occurring and we have encountered many episodes in Ireland of suicide contagion and cluster suicides after one suicide in a community.

There is a lack of support in this country for this type of bereavement so much so that the word itself postvention is not commonly used in our everyday language nor is the work itself. Yet it is well researched and found that ‘’postvention is prevention’’. The problem in this country that most resources are focussed on prevention and intervention. To tackle suicide correctly we must have prevention, intervention and postvention.The latter is not given any importance in Ireland and has been in times past sadly ignored due to the fact that suicide was a crime in this country up to 1993.Hence we had stigma after a suicide and this taboo still lingers.There is a lack of education in Ireland on the merits of postvention.

We aim to change this in implementing this work and educating the general public on its importance. The work has already begun in Dublin city centre and we envisage to expand our services to surrounding areas and nationwide.