The North West and Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Support Groups are holding their annual ‘Memory Tree of Lights’ ceremonies on Sunday 6 December 2015 at 5.30pm in Derry’s Guildhall and the following Sunday 13 December at 5.30pm in the Roe Park Resort, Limavady.
The events are held to remember loved ones lost to suicide and to support family and friends during the holiday season, which can be an especially difficult time.
The events are supported by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), Be Safe Be Well, The Big Lottery and The Public Health Agency.
The simple ceremony involves members of the support group reading some poetry and prayers, which have particular significance to them and music provided by the Long Tower Choir and the Salvation Army choir in Limavady.
Family and friends will be invited to take part in a candlelight ceremony and to leave a message to their loved one on the Christmas tree.
Fidelis Simpson, Suicide Liaison Officer for the Western Trust, said: “We recognise how devastating a death by suicide can be but we believe by coming together with others bereaved by suicide this can offer hope and support.
“When someone dies by suicide many people are affected; families, friends and work colleagues, but all too often no one gets the opportunity to talk about how they feel.
“The journey for those left behind after the loss of a loved one can be excruciatingly painful, devastating and traumatic.”
The North West Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meets the first and third Monday of the month in Foyle Search and Rescue headquarters at Prehen in Derry at 7.30pm and the Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre at 7.30pm.