During this pandemic more of us than usual will have experienced the loss of someone close to them, or know someone who has been bereaved.
All of us have experienced some kind of loss at this time: regular routines, certainties, contact with friends, family members or colleagues.
To some extent we will all have felt a level of grief. For those who have lost a loved one, being isolated from family and friends can make feelings of grief more intense.
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.
More information about coping with the sudden losses many have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic is available via Thrive LDN
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.
Harrow Talking Therapies (IAPT) – Free NHS Service
- Individual and group bereavement counselling is offered by accredited counsellors.
- For traumatic bereavement and prolonged grief disorder, individual therapy is provided by CBT therapists.
- Sessions are offered by video conferencing or phone.
- Service focus is on keeping waiting times minimal.
- Visit: cnwltalkingtherapies.org.uk
- Email: Harrow.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call on 020 8515 5015
- Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HarrowTT
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.
CAMHS will arrange a time for a 30-minute triage appointment to see if they can help, or will refer onto 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.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 020 8427 1322
- Address: Harrow Horizons at The 21 Building, 21 Pinner Road, Harrow, HA1 4ES
The wish centre
- A free therapy and counselling service for young people aged 10-25 years.
- Visit: thewishcentre.org.uk
- Call: 020 8416 7277
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAWN (Diwa Asian Women’s Network)
- Counselling open to all Harrow residents including children aged 13 and over with a sliding scale of fees depending on ability to pay. Offered in several community languages.
- Call: 020 8427 6796
- Web: www.dawncharitabletrust.org.uk
Need to Talk
- Counselling open to all Harrow residents with a sliding scale of fees depending on ability to pay.
- Visit: needtotalk.london
- Call: 07427 548559
- Email: email@example.com
There are a number of national organisations that support with bereavement:
- Cruse Bereavement - Care offers 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
Children can react differently to grief than 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:
- Winston’s Wish – support for children and young people after a bereavement
- Child Bereavement network – Hub for those supporting bereaved children
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.