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Bereavement support

Normal rituals that help people grieve and say goodbye to loved ones who have died may have changed substantially because of the risk of spreading infection.

Other ways you can help people to find safe ways to grieve, honour and remember their lost loved ones are as follows:

  • Help them to discuss what alternative commemorations are possible when attendances at funerals or spending last hours with the person have not been possible.
  • Explore the idea of deferred memorial services when it is safer for people to gather together, in line with guidance to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Provide people ways to be in touch with sick or dying loved ones to say goodbye, using remote technology where appropriate.
  • Identify religious leaders that can provide phone and online support to those who are grieving if appropriate.
  • Support people identifying other ways to safely say goodbye using their own adapted cultural practices.
  • Recognise that for BAME and faith or belief communities, some of the rituals will not be possible during Covid restrictions, which can lead to issues of shame, low mood and feelings of having ‘let the person down’.

You may wish to link them in to a bereavement support service, either locally or using an organisation such as Cruse, Ataloss or the Childhood Bereavement Network.

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This article is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Psychological First Aid

Public Health England