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Bereavement

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Losing someone you are close to can be deeply distressing, both immediately after the death, and later on. Your loss is unique, and people cope with loss in their own ways.

Although bereavement is a highly personal event, many people go through a range of recognisable reactions and emotions when someone they are close to dies, such as feeling sad, angry or betrayed. These feelings are a normal part of the grieving process and coming to terms with loss.

When someone close to you has died, you may feel lonely and isolated. Support from family and friends can be vitally important at this time, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Psychological therapy services

Talking to a trained professional can also help you to understand and work through your feelings of bereavement. You can get access to local NHS psychological services through your GP (family doctor) or practice nurse. Your local NHS psychological therapies service provides therapy and mental health services for people with mild to moderate mental health problems, including OCD, depression and anxiety, as well as feelings related to changes in your life, bereavement, and personal and family problems.

This programme makes it easier for people to access therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling.

Details for your local services are:-

Other sources of support

There are also a number of counselling and advice services available to help you.

Cruse Bereavement Care helps people who have suffered a bereavement. It provides support through local volunteers.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exist to meet the needs and to break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. They aim to provide a safe, confidential environment, in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings.

Age UK has useful information and advice on coping with bereavement and how to get support, including personal stories from other people who have experienced the death of a loved which may help you feel to feel that you are not alone.

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
National helpline: 0800 02 888 40 or local support: Beethoven Centre, Third Avenue, W10 4JL, on 020 8960 9476 or westlondonsupport@childbereavementuk.org

The Royal College of Psychiatrists website has sensitive and useful information, and links to other sources of support.

The Healthwatch website provides a list of organisations which can give advice on what to do after someone has died, or can provide counselling and support to someone who has lost a loved one.

The Dying Matters website provides advice and information on coping with bereavement.

Independent Age has a booklet on Coping with bereavement.

ACAS provide advice to employees on their right to take time off work following a bereavement.

The Counselling Directory website provides advice on grieving and bereavement, and on what to look out for if you want to arrange bereavement counselling.

The NHS website provides information on bereavement and arranging bereavement support.

If you want advice on what needs to be done after a loved one dies (arranging the funeral, sorting out their estate etc) then have a look at our page on What to do when someone dies.

Age UK offer information on accessing counselling and talking therapies, and have produced a factsheet called You are not alone.

Easy read button

The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about death and bereavement.

The Carers Trust offers advice on practical issues following a bereavement.

The Campaign To End Loneliness website has advice on what to do if you are feeling lonely in later life.