Bereavement support

Everyone experiences some level of grief when family or friends pass away.

It is often difficult to recognise these feelings in ourselves. Grief is not always felt as sadness and loneliness. It may feel like a general feeling of discomfort and things just ‘not being right’. It may be expressed in physical symptoms. We all react to bereavement and loss in different ways, and ways which change over the course of time.

Grieving takes time, but sometimes the grief can be overwhelming over a long period of time and it can be necessary to have specialist support. Your GP or the organisations below can help you. More information about coping with the sudden loss is available via Thrive LDN.

Other support services

Harrow Talking Therapies (IAPT) – Free NHS Service

Providing individual and group bereavement counselling, offered by accredited counsellors. In addition they provide traumatic bereavement and prolonged grief disorder. This is provided by CBT therapists. Sessions are via video conferencing or telephone.

Service focus is on keeping waiting times minimal.

CAMHS (for children and young people up to 18 years old)

CAMHS support is also available if a mental health diagnosis might be present, such as anxiety, depression or PTSD. The CAMHS Learning disability sub team is for children/ young people with a moderate/ severe Learning disability who are presenting with mental health difficulties or significant challenging behaviour. You can access all CAMHS  teams through a referral from a health worker (e.g. school nurse, GP), school, or social worker. They will arrange a 30-minute triage appointment to see if they can help, or alternatively refer to the right service for your needs.

Harrow Horizons (children and young people up to the age of 18 or 25 for young people with SEND)

The Service offers short-term focused therapeutic interventions, either individually or in small groups, to support with a range of issues, including bereavement.

The wish centre

A free therapy and counselling service for young people aged 10-25 years.

DAWN (Diwa Asian Women’s Network)

Counselling open to all Harrow residents including children aged 13 and over. There is a sliding scale of fees depending on ability to pay. Offered in several community languages.

Need to Talk

Counselling open to all Harrow residents. There is a sliding scale of fees depending on ability to pay.

Online support

There are a number of national organisations that support with bereavement:

  • Cruse Bereavement: Advice and support on dealing with bereavement and grief during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • At a Loss: Provides signposting to other services across the UK that can provide resources and support to those that are bereaved.

Bereavement of children and young people

In times of grief children can react differently to adults. It is important to be guided by their questions. They don’t necessarily need to know details but try to be honest but age appropriate in your answers.

Creating routines and giving them simple clear jobs can help. It is very important to think about your own support and well-being, as well as that of the child.

There is useful support online here:

Schools in Harrow who would like support for bereaved pupils can approach the Educational Psychology service.

You can also see the loss bereavement guidance updated in April 2020.

Harrow CAMHS have put together a useful document on supporting children and young people with a learning difficulty.

The Harrow school nursing team can also be approached for support and advice.

Books you can read together

  • The Day the Sea Went Out and Never Came Back. Margot Sunderland and Nicky Armstrong. (Therapeutic story).
  • Someone Has Died Suddenly. Mary Williams (suddendeath.org)
  • Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine. (Activity book) Diana Crossley

Books for younger children

  • Goodbye Mousie. Robie H. Harris
  • When Uncle Bob Died. Althea
  • Dear Grandma Bunny. Dick Bruna
  • Are You Sad, Little Bear? A Book about Learning To Say Goodbye. Rachel Rivett

Books for older children

  • Flamingo Dream. Donna Jo Napoli
  • Fred. Posy Simmonds
  • Granpa. John Burningham

Webinars on supporting children and adults with bereavement and loss

The Public Health Team at Harrow Council, in conjunction with Young Harrow Foundation, Bereavement Care and Support (Harrow) and other partner organisations are hosting two webinars: one on how to support adults and one on how to support children and young people who have been bereaved.

After the events you can watch them online.