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Many people rely on friends and relatives to support them through a bereavement, but there are different types of services available that can also help if you need them.

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When should you get bereavement support

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You might want to speak to somebody if:

  • You want to find out more about your feelings and reactions to someone’s death
  • You want to talk to someone about your feelings and would like bereavement counselling
  • You want practical information, like how to organise a funeral

There are many different types of support available, from group sessions where you meet with others who are also experiencing a bereavement, to one-to-one counselling over the telephone, to sessions with psychotherapists to help you talk through your feelings.

Finding bereavement support

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The type of bereavement support you get and who provides it depends on what your needs are, the type of support you want, and what is available in your local area. To find the right support for you, you can try the following:

  • Speak to your GP, who can help with referrals to local bereavement counselling services and tell you about other support services available in your area.
  • Contact your local hospice. Hospices are the specialist providers of end of life care, and can support you after a relative or friend who was under their care has died.  In some cases they also give bereavement support to the wider community, which means you do not need to have a previous connection to the hospice to access this support. You can find out where your nearest hospice is and what they offer through our online hospice finder
  • Cruse Bereavement Care is a national charity offering face-to-face, telephone, email and website support. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find out more on Cruse Bereavement Care’s website; in Scotland you can visit Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland They also have a website specifically for children and young adults called Hope Again.
  • The Good Grief Trust is a national charity that has a very comprehensive directory of bereavement support across the UK, listing specific services for people who have lost a child, partner, sibling, parent or friend.
  • The Childhood Bereavement Network has an online directory of services aimed specifically at supporting bereaved children. Their website also has tips for parents and carers.
  • Marie Curie Telephone Bereavement Support is a free national helpline for people bereaved due to terminal illness. You can call the Marie Curie Support Line on 0800 090 2309  to find out more or visit Marie Curie’s website
  • Sue Ryder’s Online Community offers a place to share experiences, ask questions and chat. Find out more by visiting Sue Ryder's Online Bereavement Support
  • If you want to speak to a psychotherapist or a counsellor, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has information about how to find registered professionals in your area on their website. Costs will vary, and many therapists have their own websites explaining how they work and what to expect from therapy.
  • Some companies run an Employee Assistance Programme, which entitles employees to a set number of free counselling sessions. Ask your manager or Human Resources team for information.