Thursday 28th May 2020

Bereavement is what we experience when we lose someone important to us. It is characterised by grief which is the process and range of feelings that we go through as we adjust to the loss. Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Other life experiences that might trigger feelings of grief include; the end of relationship, the loss of a job or moving to a new location. The many symptoms of grief include shock, numbness, anger and guilt. Visit the NHS website for more information about the symptoms of grief and for things to try to help with bereavement, grief and loss. The Royal College of Psychiatrists also has information for anyone who has been bereaved, their family and friends.

Immediately after a death, there are practical things that need to be done such as registering the death and arranging the funeral. Visit the UK Government site for more information. Tell Us Once is a service that enables you to report a death to most government organisations in one go. For information specific to Northern Ireland visit NI Direct and for Scotland read this practical guide.

Bereavement support available

SSAFA offers three support groups for bereaved families, providing events which facilitate peer support, a safe space to grieve and an opportunity for respite. Visit their website for more information.

Cruse Bereavement Care offers free support for people bereaved by death, in any way, whatever their age, nationality or belief. Help includes 1-to-1 bereavement support, bereavement support groups and advice or information on practical matters and a helpline.

Hope Again is the youth website of Cruse Bereavement Care. It is a safe place, where young people who are facing grief can share their stories with others.

Sands is the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. Its purpose is to;

  • support anyone affected by the death of a baby
  • work in partnership with healthcare professionals to ensure that bereaved parents and families receive the best possible care, and;
  • promote improvements in practice and fund research to help reduce the number of babies dying.

Sands has local support groups around the country and there is also a telephone helpline.

Sands National Helpline (free): 0808 1643332


you can email: [email protected]

Sands has also produced a downloadable Bereavement Support Book which contains a wealth of information and a Bereavement Support App that contains information and support for bereaved parents, grandparents, families and friends. The Sands online community provides a safe space for bereaved parents to connect with each other and share their feelings 24 hours day. More information can be found on the Sands website.

Further information on health and wellbeing

This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed month of May for all things relating to health and wellbeing. The website also provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date with information on new initiatives as they go live.

Health and Wellbeing themed image of two people sitting on the top of a mountain with their feet crossed, looking out across an amazing view

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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