Coronavirus: Support on hand for those who are suffering bereavement and loss during the pandemic
A new service and publications have been launched today to support those who are experiencing and suffering from bereavement and loss during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bereavement Support Service will be run by Shropshire Council and community voluntary partners Samaritans, Cruse Bereavement Care, Severn Hospice and Crane Quality Counselling, and will include a dedicated number for people to call to seek help and support.
This new service is centred on what the person needs to help them through their difficult time. First, a skilled customer services adviser will listen and then assist the person to identify the help available from the council’s own services, so that providing what a person needs is made as simple as possible through this single contact.
Then, when the practical help has been set in motion, the adviser will help them to choose the right counselling support service for them, and will make the referral through to our voluntary sector partners. An adviser will also make further contact with the person at a later date to make sure things are working as they should.
Two new publications have also been produced to complement the service:-
Grief and bereavement during COVID-19 support booklet:
- Providing a compassionate overview of coping with loss, feelings that may be experienced, supporting others who are grieving, and links to local and national help and information.
Bereavement practical guide and checklist:
- Providing an overview of the processes following a death, and what has changed during due to the pandemic. This includes a step-by-step checklist to help identify what steps need to be taken, why this is important and how to do so/who to contact. This document will be provided alongside the above bereavement support booklet.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, said:-
“We know that as a result of COVID-19, death, dying and loss is affecting a lot of people. Some people are coping with the death of a member of the family, a friend or a neighbour as a direct result of COVID-19, or the death of someone during the pandemic. Many people are also affected through their work as key workers, or as volunteers in the community. Others may have suffered loss in the past, or are anticipating the loss of someone unrelated to COVID-19.
“I am really pleased to be working in partnership with the Samaritans, Cruse Bereavement Care, Severn Hospice and Crane Quality Counselling to provide co-ordinated bereavement support to our community. We fully recognise that due to COVID-19 many people will be suffering loss, grief and bereavement at this time.
“We urge anyone feeling sad, lonely, distressed, overwhelmed or unable to cope to pick up the phone. We have ensured that you can access a range of services on a free and confidential basis .We aim to ensure everyone requiring bereavement support and help can access it quickly, easily, in a way and time that suits them.”
As well as the emotional challenges, there are many practical considerations related to dealing with a death. When coping with all of this at a time of isolation and concern for others it is natural to need support, a listening ear and possibly some ongoing support. COVID-19 presents additional challenges to the process of grieving and bereavement.
Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, added:-
“We want to make people aware that there are a number of local community services able, willing and ready to support you through bereavement and loss. Whatever your situation, night or day there is someone available to support you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our aim is that this service will ensure all who require caring and compassionate support around loss and bereavement will receive it.
“It can be difficult to talk about how you feel, but it is important that you are able to access support if you feel at any time overwhelmed, distressed or unable to cope or look after yourself or others. You may also be concerned about someone you know and require guidance about supporting them.”
You can access the new bereavement service by calling the Shropshire Council COVID-19 Helpline number on 0345 678 9028.
The line is available for anyone with questions or queries, or looking for support and guidance. By ringing you can find out abut the free and confidential bereavement services available, and you will receive support to arrange an appointment or get in touch directly. They can provide you with a one off conversation or a number of more in-depth sessions over a period of time.
For any other coronavirus information visit https://shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/information-for-the-public/.
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