Bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic
The uncertainty and isolation we’ve faced during the COVID-19 outbreak will have affected the mental well-being of many of us. Some will have burdened the additional hardship of having someone they care for die during this time.
The death may have taken place in a residential aged care home at a time when tight restrictions kept family from being able to see and say goodbye to their loved one. Public health restrictions may have also affected grieving rites such as having a funeral and receiving comfort and support from family and friends. These links to resources and services may help those struggling to come to terms with this unprecedented and traumatic time.
Finding someone to talk to
- Aged Care COVID-19 Grief and Bereavement Service - A national toll-free phone service linking people to specialist bereavement practitioners and appropriate support programs. From the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement.
- Beyond Blue Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service - Free phone support, web chat service (24/7), and online community forum for those whose mental health has been affected during the pandemic. Offers a free translation service for those who don’t speak English as a first language.
- Seeing a mental health professional - If you think you may benefit from the help of a mental health professional, you can visit your GP (ask for a long appointment) and discuss a mental health treatment plan with a referral to a mental health service in your area. With this plan in place, you can initially claim a Medicare rebate for 6 sessions per calendar year. Until 30 June 2022, your GP can extend this to a maximum of 20 sessions if needed.
For more information
- Facing coronavirus - Information from Grieflink that may help explain what you are feeling.
- Missing our loved one in the time of COVID-19 (54 mins) - Webinar from the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement for people with a family member or other loved one in an assisted living, skilled nursing facility, or other location and unable to visit due to the safety rules of COVID-19.
- Loss and grief during the coronavirus pandemic (37 mins) - Interview with Dr Katherine Shear, world expert on grief and the founder of the Center for Complicated Grief. Covers strategies for processing losses and accepting grief during this time.
- Funerals and grieving during COVID-19: CarerHelp (PDF 352KB) - Tips for carers bereaved during the pandemic.