0345 123 2304 helpline
Make a

Latest news

New support day in Glasgow

Our first ever support day for parents bereaved by suicide or substance use was held in Glasgow in early March 2022. Here Karen describes her experience of the day.

On Saturday 5 March, 2022, I spent the day with a roomful of strangers, but we all had one thing in common. We were parents who had lost a child to suicide or substance use.

I was nervous as I drove to the event and had all these thoughts going round in my head...

“What if I cry too much”?

“Would I be able to speak out to a room filled with people I had just met”?

“What if I make a fool of myself”?

All of these thoughts disappeared as soon as I stepped out of my car and was met by one of the volunteers (also parents) who, like us, had suffered the loss of their much loved child.

As we read through the agenda, it was “full-on” with various break out sessions throughout the day.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit to thinking, “What am I doing here”? As I made my way to the first session, (armed with a picture of my beautiful son Daniel) I felt those butterflies in my stomach at what lay ahead.

However, there is gentleness to the sessions which I think, as well as giving you the strength to talk, it also allows you to actively listen to the others who are actually the only group of people who can truly say,

“I know how you feel.”

There are comfortable silences as we listen to the stories of our loved ones and then take a moment to process it all.

Was it sad?..............YES

Was it intense..........YES

Was I emotionally wiped out at the end?.........YES

Was it worth it................ABSOLUTELY YES

You are not alone in your sadness and your own very personal journey of grief.

There are people out there ready to listen and support.

You just need to make the first move.

We are waiting to meet you.

Remembering with much love, Daniel Harkins (1997-2020)


A huge thank you to the amazing volunteers who ran this Glasgow support day for parents bereaved by suicide or substance use. They have received some other amazing feedback from the bereaved parents and the (one) adult sibling who attended.

"It was a very welcoming and comfortable place to talk about my son. It is supportive to hear other people’s stories and to know that we are not alone or mad in this very difficult time. This is the second day I have attended and felt more relaxed this time and some faces were familiar. The venue was nice and the food was excellent and the volunteers did a fab job. Thank you"

"Wonderful day. Very much enjoyed the ‘sessions’ and amazing to hear the stories of other parents and how they are trying to cope with their grief".

"It was good to meet people who have suffered a similar type of grief as the loss of a child appears to have its own emotional pain. (bereaved dad, first time attendee at a TCF support day)"

"Absolutely Brilliant. This day really helped me. Thank you".

"Thank you so much for an amazing day. It’s really helped to share my feelings and listen to other peoples".

"Lovely day. So sensitive and welcoming – Really. Felt like I could share my beautiful son with the group. Thank you".


Bereaved mum, Shae, also wrote to us:

"I've just attended the day in Glasgow for parents bereaved by suicide, and would like to say an enormous thank you, to TCF and to those who gave up their time to organise and run the day. I lost my daughter to suicide in January 2021, and going to this event in Glasgow, felt like a chance to escape and share and learn from others on how to survive. Actually, it turned out to be this and more, we were all welcomed so warmly by the amazing volunteers, who are all sadly bereaved also. The venue was warm and bright, and we were offered drinks and pastries on arrival. Then I was introduced to some absolutely lovely parents at a table, and then after a chat, we all broke into rooms and started to talk. It's an unfortunate position to be in, to attend one of these events, but I'm so glad I did go, it feels like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. It's not just me that hides in supermarkets, or finds it difficult now in family situations! I also learnt coping strategies, and just seeing the volunteers who were bereaved also, and had survived, and were helping us, gives me the strength to think I can get to a better place too. At the end we exchanged contact details and I now have a few phone numbers and emails of parents I can contact if I need someone to talk to who really understands. I know I'll always miss my beautiful daughter, and I know there will be many times when I still can't cope. But I'm so thankful for TCF for running these events. I will attend again".

We hope to run a number of support days around the UK in 2022 and early 2023. Look out on our Facebook page, on our website or your email inbox for further details.

Comments: 2 (Add)

Eleanor Magunnigle on 16 March 2022 at 00:41

Thank you for a great day

Eleanor on 16 March 2022 at 00:19

Yes I felt the same So worried and afraid of the day but the minute I arrived felt so welcome and loved and so glad I went . I felt supported loved and listened to and so many shared experiences I left the day feeling less alone x

Support our work

Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

Make a donation

Loading Tap for Helpline chat