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children and grief

'Don’t cry, your mum’s in the room. And me? I was dying inside.'

Young people often struggle to access support following the death of a loved one.
DON’T CRY, YOUR mum’s in the room. And me? I was dying inside.

Those are the words of a girl who was told not to cry in front of her mother following the death of her sister.

girl Shutterstock Shutterstock

Anam Cara is today facilitating workshops on grief for professionals who work with young people. The organisation said there are currently no support programmes in place for those aged 15 – 25 when a family member or close friend dies.

Child psychologist and bereavement specialist David Trickey is leading the workshop. He said the death of a family member or friend is “a hugely distressing event for a young person”.

Traumatic events such as the sudden death of a family member can have longstanding consequences for a young person’s mental health and home life so it is vital support is available.

“Considering the other external pressures this age group are experiencing as they transition from childhood to being an adult, being able to access support services to help them understand their grief is important for their wellbeing,” Trickey stated.


Trickey will brief those attending the workshop on identifying the symptoms of traumatic grief and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

As a result of a trial workshop earlier in 2015, Jigsaw Galway has developed a one-day support programme for adolescents and young adults. Anam Cara is encouraging other organisations to adopt the programme and make it their own.

Sharon Vard, CEO of Anam Cara, said:

By working together we can ensure a bereaved adolescent or young adult can access the support that will help them draw on the resilience and strength to get them through the sadness and grief.

Anam Cara is a national voluntary support organisation set up by bereaved parents to support newly-bereaved families throughout Ireland. More information on its services can be found here.

Today is National Grieving Day. For more information, click here. People who are grieving and looking for support can find helpful information on

Read: ‘Then everyone died’: I lost four people I loved in 14 months

Read: “There is something profound about holding someone as they take their last breaths”

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