The loss of someone close to us can be emotionally overwhelming. The range of emotions and physical symptoms can be hard to deal with and hard to understand. Sooner or later most of us will suffer the death of someone we love. Everyone experiences bereavement in different ways and it is important to recognise this and seek support as we try to understand our loss. We may feel we should feel certain emotions when we simply are not ready to, or that we must remain strong for others. The resources below look to offer advice, support and practical guidance relating to the passing away of a loved one.
Gov.uk provide concise simple information and instructions about what to do when someone dies as well as providing links to bereavement allowance and bereavement services near you.
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Royal College of Psychiatrists offer a leaflet on their website for anyone who has been bereaved, their family and friends, and anyone else who wants to learn more. They link to other useful services and provide thorough information on the process of grieving.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care is a charity for bereaved people in the UK. They offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies. They do this through face to face contact as well as by telephone, email and website support. Their services are provided by trained volunteers and are both confidential and free. Contact them on 0845 758 5565 or email them.
Self Help Guides
Self Help Guides produced by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust offer a wide range of information covering a variety of issues affecting wellbeing including bereavement. Visit their website to view a self help guide on coming to terms with and understanding bereavement.
The NSH Choices
The NHS Choices website provides information surrounding bereavement including practicalities such as registering a death and how to claim bereavement benefits, children and bereavement, and information from a bereavement counsellor about how to cope when someone close passes away.
Bereavement Advice supports and advises people on what they need to do after a death given that there are many practical issues to manage when someone dies. They can be called on 0800 634 9494 or you can reach them by email.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
Survivors of bereavement by suicide offer emotional and practical support for those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend. They are a self-help organisation and many of their volunteers have themselves been bereaved by suicide. They offer group meetings, telephone support, help by email and provide information relating to practical issues and problems.
Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society
Still Birth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) provide information, emotional and physical support to anyone who is affected by the loss of a baby. Their website has a lot of material on topics surrounding the death of a baby son or daughter as well as groups across the UK and a helpline available on 020 7436 5881 – 10am to 5pm – answerphone out of hours or through email.
The Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families and promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep. For support they can be contacted on 0808 802 6868 Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and weekends 6pm-10pm, they can also be emailed. The helpline does not offer a formal counselling service but rather the opportunity to talk freely, for as long as required, with a sympathetic and understanding listener. The Lullaby Trust also provides resources relating to the loss of a baby or toddler and a discussion forum.
Compassionate Friends offers befriending and support for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. They can be contacted on 0117 953 9639 from 10am to 4pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Child Death Helpline
Child Death Helpline is for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, from prebirth to adult, under any circumstances, however recently or long ago. They are available freephone on 0800 282 986 or 0808 800 6019 (free for all mobiles) every evening from 7pm-10pm as well as Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and additionally Tuesday/Wednesday 1pm-4pm. Your call will be answered by a bereaved parent.
Child Bereavement UK
Child Bereavement UK support families and educate professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Their professionally trained bereavement support workers are available to take calls 9am - 5pm Monday-Friday on 01494 568900.