A free counselling service has been launched to help alleviate workplace stress for Ulster undertakers.
The support service – run by the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) – is being offered to their 17 members in Northern Ireland.
The service will be run by Professional Help, a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, which specialises in counselling for workplace stress. It provides a free and confidential telephone and email helpline.
Funeral directors who need further support will be offered six free counselling sessions.
“Our members in Northern Ireland are independent funeral directors, often family run, who take care of anyone who walks through their door during a difficult time of bereavement – apart from themselves,” said Alun Tucker, Executive Chairman of SAIF. “These are people who often enter the profession at a young age and the emotional stress that is inherent in the nature of the job can really take its toll especially when supporting a family where there are particularly tragic circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one.
“This emotional stress is something I experienced during my time as a funeral director but unfortunately there was no counselling service available.”
Catherine Betley, from Professional Help, said the funeral business “is a very challenging industry to work in”.