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Coping with bereavement

Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult things to happen in our lives.

Last updated: 31 January 2023

During times of grief, there is somebody you can talk to and organisations that offer a range of support. 

Coping with bereavement and grief during the coronavirus outbreak

Bereavement, which is a difficult experience under any situation, is taking place under very challenging circumstances during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Both those who experience loss as a consequence to COVID-19, or loss through another cause may experience increased trauma and may be cut off from some of their usual support network.

Support available during this difficult time:

Need to talk to somebody right now?

The Good Grief Trust is an excellent resource for those coping with bereavement. There you can find a number of support lines to call to help with grief:

24 hour support lines

  • Samaritans - for anyone at anytime for any reason, call 116 123 (UK)
  • Childline - support for under 25s and their relatives, call 0800 1111      
  • Silverline - support for the over 50s, call 0800 470 8090

Day/evening support lines

General support

  • Cruse: nationwide bereavement support  0808 808 1677
  • Winstons Wish: Support and Guidance to bereaved children, young people and families. Monday to Friday  9am to 5pm, Weds 7 to 9.30pm 08452 030405   
  • Bereavement Trust: Emotional and practical advice (6 to 10pm) 0800 435 455     ​
  • Grief Encounter: Support for anyone to Grief Encounter from any phone for free Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm. Have a 1-2-1 CHAT live session with a Grief Encounter counsellor 0808 802 0111
  • Waltham Forest’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – the URGENT CRISIS line is 0300 555 1247 open Monday to Friday 9 to 5, or 0300 555 1000 outside of these hours

Support after the death of a child

  • Child Bereavement UK: helpline (9 to 5pm) 0800 02 88840
  • Sands: Free confidential helpline for anyone affected by the death of a baby, 9.30am - 5.30pm Mon to Fri and 9.30am - 9.30pm Tues and Thurs evenings 0808 164 3332
  • The Lullaby Trust: Monday - Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Weekends and Public holidays, 6 pm - 10 pm 0808 802 6868
  • The Compassionate Friends: Support for people when a child of any age dies through any cause. Local support groups & online message boards – Open every day 10 am to 4 pm, 7 to10 pm 0345 123 2304​

Specific support

  • DrugFam: drug and alcohol addiction. The helpline line is available between 9am and 9pm seven days a week 0300 888 3853  
  • Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide: 9am to 9pm every day 0300 111 5065  

Practical advice

  • Bereavement Advice Centre  -  Practical advice 9 to 5pm 0800 634 9494    

Other organisations that can help

  • Kooth - a web-based confidential mental health support service available to young people aged 11-18
  • Widowed and Young – a charity for those under 50 who have lost a partner.
  • Marie Curie – Terminal illness Support
  • MacMillan – Cancer Support
  • The Loss Foundation – Therapy support groups in London – 0300 200 4112
  • At a Loss – Help with finding local and specific Bereavement Support
  • SUDC UK – Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood
  • RoadPeace – Bereavement through Road Crashes 0845 4500 355 7 days 9am to 9pm
  • Funeral Zone – Free online resource for the bereaved 
  • Cruse Bereavement Care - dealing with bereavement and grief

Faith-specific support

  • Masjid-E-Umer Trust - Available to offer advice to Muslim community - including informal support with bereavement - 07977 212 591
  • Jewish Bereavement Counselling - Counselling is offered via various social media means including WhatsApp, zoom and telephone. Monday to Friday, 9am and 9pm 020 8951 3881,
  • Ahada Bereavement Support- Based in Newham. Counselling by phone is open to all WF residents. 07758 727 328
  • Wanstead and Leytonstone Synagogue - Jewish residents experiencing bereavement can contact Synagogue through an online form to request support. 07434 631948 
  • Muslim Bereavement Support Service - A Ilford based bereavement service serving the Muslim community by supporting bereaved women who have lost a loved one. 020 3468 7333