FAMILY PEER SUPPORT GROUP

FAMILY Peer SUPPORT meetings

After a long break, due to COVID restrictions, the National Missing Persons Helpline restored the Family Peer Support Group programme on Saturday 26 February 2022.

The meetings are informal and provide a safe space where families and friends can share and talk about their experience.

We were pleased to welcome a number of new participants who availed of the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced a missing loved one.

Feedback was extremely positive and we are delighted to have our quarterly meetings back on track. If you would like to come along to our next meeting in June please call 1800 442 552.

We would like to express our thanks to Gina Réamonn who made a presentation of €565 which she raised during a recent online appeal. A further €100 was donated at the meeting, bringing the total to €665. Gina is pictured with our Chairperson Dermot Browne and Mary Sinnott, mother of missing Fiona Sinnott.

We have received lovely feedback from the mother of missing Cian Langelaan and brother of Imelda Keenan. Anthea and Gerry attended our families support day and found great comfort meeting others in the same situation. If you would like to attend our next one in June, please contact us.

“My son Cian went missing in Donegal in September 2020 and I joined the Missing Persons Helpline family peer support group this past weekend for the gathering in Dublin. I was looking forward to this meeting and dreading it, in equal measure. I thought it would be very difficult meeting others in a similar situation to myself and, possibly too emotional. How wrong I was!! If anyone reading this has a missing loved one but felt that the support group was 'not suitable for them' please let me reassure you. This was the most warm and welcoming group and meeting others who truly understood what I have been going through these past 16 months was such a huge comfort. I am no further forward in my search for my son but I still have HOPE and now, since the meeting, I feel that I have an extended family of people who are holding my hand. I had to drive at the crack of dawn, get a bus, then a ferry, then another bus, then a train and finally a flight to Dublin. Quite a journey there and back but I would do it again in a heartbeat to experience the support of the wonderful organisers and the other participants. I highly recommend taking part in these meetings, which will be held on a regular basis. I cannot emphasise enough how much of a healing process this experience was. Thank you Dermot and your wonderful team of volunteers for taking the time out of your busy lives to help people like me” Anthea Langelaan, mother of Cian Langelaan

"We hope that other people who have a loved one missing to attend the family support meetings. I was delighted to meet Anthea for the first time and to share her sad story of her missing son in Donegal, as everybody has a sorrowful time going through day to day. I know from personal experience that attending the family support meetings helps me to cope and gives me great confidence to speak to people of my missing sister IMELDA KEENAN that never came home. It's been so long and yet the pain doesn't ease MISSING IN WATERFORD 03/01/1994)" Gerry Keenan, brother of Imelda Keenan