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BEREAVEMENT

What happens when you go through bereavement?

It is devastating when you lose someone close to you. Everyone’s experience of grief is unique, but there are some common things that lots of us will feel. You might feel numb, angry, exhausted or guilty for something you did or didn’t do or say. Your mind will be distracted so you may also find it hard to concentrate as well as you would do normally. These feelings are normal and will pass, but it can take time.

Speaking to someone can help, and you may get all the support you need from family and friends. If you don’t feel able to open up to people that you know, or you feel you are struggling, then there are organisations and sources of support that can help. These include:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers face-to- face, telephone (0808 808 1677) and email (helpline@cruse.org.uk) support.
  • Help is at Hand – A booklet specifically written for those bereaved by suicide by those who have also been affected by suicide. The booklet gives practical information as well as details of further support.
  • Samaritans – Provide a safe place for you to talk. They will listen and try to understand what you’re going through and help you make your own decisions that are right for you. You can get in contact with them via telephone (116 123 [free 24 hour helpline]), email, letter or face-to- face.
  • CPFT Bereavement Support Group - These are held on the second Monday evening of each month, but please ring to check the date if you were not at the previous meeting. The meetings take place from 6pm-7.30pm at: Quaker Meeting House 21 Thorpe Road Peterborough PE3 6AB. If you are attending the group for the first time, it’s really important you contact us first so we can get some details from you and have a chat about the format of the meetings. Please give us a ring (details in leaflet link).

Sometimes it isn’t just your own grief that you have to deal with, but that of your children. Children need time to grieve too, and it’s important to try and talk to them about their feelings as well as your own. Try to encourage them not to hide their feelings, but instead talk about them. As much as possible try to keep to the routine that your family had before the death to give a bit more stability, as hard as this may be.

These services provide specific support for young people and their families who are bereaved

  • Hope Again - Provides advice for young people after the death of someone close to them including personal stories of other young people who have been bereaved.
  •  Child Bereavement UK – supports families and educates professionals when a child or baby of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
  • Cruse Bereavement Care - Offers face-to- face, telephone (0808 808 1677) and email (helpline@cruse.org.uk) support.
  • Stars Children's Bereavement Support Service - Stars provides specialist bereavement support and counselling for any child or young person, aged 0-25 years who has experiences the death of someone close to them. We also provide support for young people when someone close to them is dying. Email: info@talktostars.org.uk, Telephone - 01223 863511.
  • Grief Encounter - A national service providing support to bereaved children and teenagers including e-counselling and materials to help to support bereaved children. Email: contact@griefencounter.org.uk, Telephone: 02083 718455.
  • Centre 33 - Provides free counselling to young people aged 13-25 years. Email: help@centre33.org.uk, Telephone: 01223 316488.
  • Compassionate Friends A charitable organisation of bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents dedicated to the support and care of other similarly bereaved family members who have suffered the death of a child or children of any age and from any cause. Email: helpline@tcf.org.uk, Telephone: 034512 32304.
  • YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - Provides free counselling to young people ages 13-25years. Email: counselling@theymca.org.uk, Telephone: 01733 373170.
  • Keep Your Head - Provides details of more services and information on children's mental health.
  • Kooth - Kooth is a free, confidential counselling service, provides mental health self-help information and support online for people aged between 11 and 19 years.

Other local healthcare services:

  • Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice - The hospice’s family support team offers individual and group support pre and post bereavement. Trained staff and volunteers also facilitate the monthly walking group Wayfinders. Support for bereaved children aged six to 11 is available through the Charlie Chimp Club.
  • Arthur Rank House Hospice, Cambridge - Offers bereavement support to the families of patients who have received care from one of their services. Keith Morrison (Chaplain), Email: keith.morrison@arhc.org.uk, Tel: 01223 675777
  • Sue Ryder St John's Hospice - Offers bereavement support to families and friends of patients cared for at the hospice. Jane Maxfield, Family Support & Bereavement Co-ordinator.
  • The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre - The Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre based at North Cambs Hospital in Wisbech, is a day centre supporting people who are living with a life-limiting illness. They also run a support day three times a year for bereaved relatives.
  • Cambridge University Counselling Service - This free service is for enrolled students and staff of the University of Cambridge.
  • Anglia Ruskin University Counselling and Wellbeing Service- The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all students at Anglia Ruskin University and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Voluntary organisations

  • Age UK - Provides advice and information for older people through an advice line‚ publications and website.
  • The Samaritans - Provide confidential emotional support at all times of day and night.
  • Cambridgeshire Consultancy in Counselling - Provides an individual counselling service with a range of fees according to ability to pay.
  • Cogwheel Trust for Counselling - The Cogwheel Trust is a charity, motivated by its Christian ethos, working throughout Cambridgeshire to improve the emotional and psychological well-being of local people. 

For more information on bereavement and dealing with grief please visit the NHS Choices bereavement webpage. Click here for a printable bereavement leaflet full of services for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area.

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Who Can Help Page for lots of services who are local and national!

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