impact on life - healthcare publishing

Bereavement Advice & Counselling

1. Coping With Your Grief And Loss

Bereavement is a highly personal issue, which can affect people in a variety of ways. Be prepared for your natural grieving process to take considerable time and to pass through a range of emotions such as shock, anger, guilt, fear, sadness etc. You may experience sleeplessness, a poor appetite, anxiety, a sense of being lost and disconnected, and your life may change enormously in practical terms.

Sometimes the people you least expect will offer the greatest support. Talking about your loss with friends and loved ones is a very important part of coming to terms with bereavement, and remember that it's OK to ask for help. Sometimes people feel they need more help than friends can give. Most ministers who conduct funeral services are well aware of help that is needed. They will not wish to intrude but are very happy to be approached. Many funeral directors provide bereavement counselling. Usually no charge is made. Both ministers and funeral directors will refer to local organisations whose counsellors are experienced in helping the bereaved.

2. Child Bereavement

The death of a child, whatever their age can continue to affect all those who knew the child long after the grieving process might seem to be over. There is no easy answer to coping with such an event which can turn your world upside down. A child's parents may take years to accept and adjust to their loss. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and each individual must be allowed to go through their own process. However, even if your child died a long time ago it may be helpful to understand that you may go through a range of emotional states such as numbness, anger, guilt, depression and withdrawal.

Anniversaries or different stages of a child's life can bring up emotions difficult to handle. Each parent will deal with their grief in a different way which can put stress and strain upon the relationship; men and women often have separate coping strategies. If parents are no longer in the same relationship that may add to the problems. Whatever your situation, if you need to talk to someone about losing a child, then please refer to the useful list of contacts below.

In particular Child Death Helpline based at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Child Bereavement Trust offer support to the individual members of bereaved families, appropriate to their age and regardless of how long ago or how old the child; losing an adult child can be as devastating to the parent as losing a baby.

3. Useful Contacts

Below is a list of organisations that can offer help and advice.

Age UK
7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB
Age UK publishes a number of useful guides and factsheets on coping with the end of life. These include When someone dies, Bereavement, Making a will, Dealing with an estate and Planning for a funeral.
Advice Line: 0800 678 1602 Free to call 8am-7pm, 365 days a year
Email: Via the online contact form

Bereavement Register
1 Newhams Row, London, SE1 3UZ
Tel: 0207 089 6403
Automated Service: 0800 082 1230

The Bereavement Service Helpline (Department of Work and Pensions)
If you need to report the death of some receiving benefits. They will tell each office that paid benefit & offer you an eligibility test.
Helpline 0800 731 0469 Mon - Fri 8m - 6pm
Welsh language Tel: 0800 731 0456 Textphone: 0800 731 0464

Cancer Care Map
Cancer Care Map is an online resource to help people living with cancer, find care and support services in their local area, anywhere in the UK.

Carers UK
20 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4LX
Advice and support for carers.
Advice Line 0808 808 7777 Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm

Child Bereavement UK
Head Office, Unit B, Knaves Beech Way, Knaves Beech Industrial Estate, Loudwater, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 9QY
Helpline: 0800 02 888 40

Child Death Helpline
Provides a quality freephone service to anyone affected by a death of a child of any age.
Helpline: 0800 282 986
Email: Via the online contact form

Citizens Advice Bureau
For free, independent and impartial advice visit our website from the link below
Advice Line (England): 0800 144 884 8 (Wales) 0800 702 2020
Relay UK: 18001 0800 144 8884

Civil Legal Advice
Helpline 0345 345 4 345
Text: 'legalaid' and your name to 80010 to get a call back

Compassionate Friends (The)
Kilburn Grange, Priory Park Road, London, NW6 7UJ
Providing support for bereaved parents and their families
Helpline: 0345 123 2304

Cremation Society of Great Britain
Brecon House (1st Floor), 16/16a Albion Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 5DZ
Tel: 01622 688292/3

Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse offers support, advice and information over the phone, face to face and online.
National Helpline 0808 808 1677

Department for Work and Pensions

If you are concerned about your own or other people's drinking. You may also want to visit our website from the link below.
Tel: 0300 123 1110 Weekdays 9am - 8pm & Weekends 11am - 4pm

Funeral Celebrants
To find your nearest Funeral Celebrants

Humanists UK
39 Moreland Street, London, EC1V 8BB
Visit the website to find a local officiant
Tel: 020 7324 3060

Institute of Professional Willwriters
Trinity Point, New Road, Halesowen B63 3HY
Tel: 0345 257 250/0121 504 4851
Email: Via the online contact form

LGBT+ Switchboard
At Switchboard we provide information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people - and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity.
0300 330 0630 Open 10am - 10pm every day

Mind offers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. They also provide a special legal service to the public, lawyers and mental health workers. To find your local Mind, go to the website.
Info Line 0300 123 3393

National Association of Funeral Directors
618 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1AA
Website has useful list of links to other organisations
0121 711 1343
Email: Via the online contact form

N.A.M.M. National Association of Memorial Masons
1 Castle Mews, Rugby, Warwickshire CV21 2XL
Free advice to the public on all aspects of Memorialisation
01788 542264

National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
SAIF Business Centre, 3 Bullfields, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9DB
SAIF members are Independent, sometimes family run funeral directors and abide by a strict Code of Practice. To find out if your local Funeral Directors is a member of SAIF please go onto the website or contact SAIF office direct.
0345 230 6777 / 01279 726777

The Natural Death Centre
Independent Funeral Advice
The Natural Death Centre, In The Hill House, Watley Lane, Twyford, Winchester SO21 1QX
The Natural Death Centre Charity offers free and impartial advice on every death and funeral related topic. From getting your affairs in order to making choices that avoid funeral incurred debt, also information on DIY funerals, private land burial and all consumer rights in this more unusual area.
Tel: 01962 712690

The Office of Public Guardian
Tel: 0300 456 0300
Textphone 0115 934 2778
Mon-Fri 9.30am - 5pm Wed 10am - 5pm
Probate and Inheritance Tax
Helpline 0300 123 1072
Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm
Closed weekends and bank holidays

Samaritans is a confidential emotional support services for anyone in the UK
Tel: 116 123 for free

Sands (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society)
Write to: Sands, 10-18 Union Street, London, SE1 1SZ
Helpline 0808 164 3332

The Good Funeral Guide
UK's only not-for-profit independent information resource for funeral advice.
Email: Via the online contact form

Therapy Route
Find a therapist near to you

Veterans UK
Ministry of Defence, Norcross, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancs, FY5 3WP
Freephone 0808 1914 2 18 (UK only)

War Widows Association of Great Britain
0845 241 2189

Winstons Wish
Winston's Wish is a national UK charity that provides bereavement support to children and young people (up to 25 years) and their families when someone close to them dies. Winstons Wish offers a freephone helpline, online resources, one-to-one and group bereavement support, publications and training professionals.
Freephone Helpline 08088 020 021 Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm

To download the Bereavement Support and Advice Publication please select the relevant area: