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

Bereavement Support Services

Community-Based Bereavement Services

Internet Support Programs

Internet Support Programs

There are increasing numbers of Internet-based bereavement programs that provide bereavement support for families. The Internet can be an asset for families who may be unable to access services due to geographic or time constraints. In addition, the Internet is very helpful for parents seeking parent-to-parent support and support for siblings of infants or children who have died.

There are many well-established national bereavement programs that provide Internet bereavement support as part of their service continuum for families. They provide excellent educational materials, resources and supports to families. There are also a growing number of Internet bereavement programs that only provide Internet support. Web sites often have numerous loss-specific groups that parents can join. Typical services include:

  • Chat Groups/Rooms, which allow real-time exchange
  • Message Boards, which allow parents to read and write messages to others
  • Listservs, which is a private e-mail group for parents to read and write messages

SUID/SIDS programs may wish to start their own Internet-based support community or publicize national or local organizations. Although the Internet is used for bereavement support, there are no standards of care for such programs. Reviews of Web sites have found that most online resources do not address the needs of the poor, low-literacy readers or non-English-speaking populations. However, Internet usage is quickly growing among these populations and the families with incomes of less than $25,000.17