SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

Bereavement Support Services

Community-Based Bereavement Services

Peer Support Groups

There are many models of peer support or self-help groups that provide bereavement support to families. Support groups can be sponsored by SUID/SIDS programs, faith organizations and nonprofit organizations. In general, they offer bereaved parents and others encouragement, sympathy, practical help and support from others who have also had similar losses. It can be very helpful for the grieving to see others who have survived similar losses.

Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former U.S. Surgeon General, participated in a Compassionate Friends support group after the death of his son. He actively supports the use of self-help groups for parents to assist them with their stress, hardship and pain. Faith institutions may offer bereavement support groups that are facilitated by pastoral counselors or trained volunteers.

Support groups can be led by trained professionals or by parents. There are many resources and training opportunities available to assist staff to start up or improve support groups.