Support for families

People react to death differently and grieve in very individual ways. If you’re concerned about yourself, or someone else, many organisations can give you support and advice.

Coronial Family Services

Coronial Family Services is part of Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services. Skilled counsellors provide information and support to relatives and close friends of people whose deaths are being (or have been) investigated by a coroner.

Counsellors can provide information about:

  • the coronial process
  • the autopsy process, including possible organ and tissue retention
  • the cause of death
  • referrals to local support groups and services.

They can also provide support during identification and viewings.

Coronial Family Services is based in Brisbane but provides assistance by telephone to people outside Brisbane. Contact them on (07) 3096 2794 or 1800 449 171, or by email at fss_counsellors@health.qld.gov.au

Coronial Assistance Legal Service

Caxton Legal Centre and Townsville Community Legal Service operate the Coronial Assistance Legal Service and provide legal advice to bereaved family members about the coronial process and associated issues. The service can also provide representation to family members appearing in some inquests. For more information phone (07) 3214 6333.

Other support organisations

Many organisations throughout Australia offer support to relatives and friends that experience sudden and unexpected deaths. View a list of support organisations.

Legal advice

You may wish to seek independent legal advice about your options regarding a coronial investigation. You can contact:

  • Legal Aid Queensland for information and referral for legal advice, and advice on whether you qualify for free legal aid
  • Queensland Law Society for names of legal firms in your area that specialise in inquests and coronial law
  • Community Legal Centres Queensland for the nearest community legal service available to you
  • LawRight (formerly QPILCH) an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation providing pro bono legal services.

More information