Bereavement

For the bereaved

When you lose someone you love, the emotions of grief may be powerful, even overwhelming. Yet everyone deals with grief differently and according to their own time schedule. Some people may find it useful to talk with someone. The GP is a good place to start. GPs can provide you with information about grief. They can also do a brief assessment to see if you might benefit from working with a trained mental health professional such as a grief counsellor or psychologist.

For those supporting a bereaved person

Talking to someone who is grieving can be difficult. We may not want to upset someone further by saying or doing the wrong thing. It can also seem like an intensely private time and we don’t want to intrude. Yet grieving people can feel isolated and appreciative of even the simplest offers of emotional and practical support. You may find helpful tips and advice here for giving support to someone during bereavement.

For GPs and other primary health care clinicians

The aim of this collection of resources is to assist primary care providers to develop their professional knowledge and skills in bereavement care. GPs and other primary health care professionals often play an important role in providing end-of-life care for people with life- limiting illnesses. When this care extends to include the immediate family or carers of a dying person, the clinician is well placed to monitor and support mental health, both before and after death. Most people will require no intervention but may still benefit from:

  • Information on what to expect when someone is dying
  • Acknowledgement of the death once it takes place and follow-up over appointments
  • Advice on self-care strategies

For Specialist Palliative Care Clinicians

Better bereavement outcomes are a goal of palliative care. Standards and policies recommend support should be provided to caregivers/families of palliative care patients, at and beyond the time of death.