Where can I get bereavement support?

What kind of grief support is out there?

Grief affects people in different ways – there’s no right or wrong way to go about it. You may find it helpful to grieve with other people, or you might prefer to spend time one-to-one with a professional. There are lots of ways of getting support at this time, whether you prefer to talk to someone in person or join an online community. Here’s where you can find out about the different types of grief support that’s out there and the best ways to go about finding it.

Online and in print

You can find a lot of readable and trustworthy bereavement information online. Many organisations and charities have their own websites with a wealth of information in easy-to-read formats. Here’s a few of the best we’ve come across:

If you would rather have a book as a companion through the process, Marie Curie has compiled a list of books to help with grief. Over at DEATH.io, we’ve also put together some of our recommendations on the best books that deal with death, from the down-to-earth to the profound.

Counselling and therapy

Many of us benefit from seeing someone face-to-face, whether we’re grieving or just want a good, personable chat. If you haven’t been to counselling before, or have never seen a therapist, it may be helpful to keep in mind that you’ll be encouraged to talk about things openly in a way which might seem difficult at first. By going along to a few sessions you’ll get the chance to see if it’s right for you.

Many therapists have their own websites explaining how they work and what to expect from therapy.

Where to find counselling or therapy

  • From your GP
  • Some local counselling services have charitable status, so you can get support on a pay what you can basis

To find registered psychotherapists and counsellors in your area, search the It’s Good to Talk online directory  or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy website. Many private psychotherapists and counsellors will charge a fee, so be sure to know what your budget is and what their rates are.

Group support

You might find it helpful to talk with people who are in a similar situation to you. Many charities, such as Cruse Bereavement Care, will be able to help you find a bereavement support group if they don’t run one themselves. You could also search online for a group in your local area. Getting group support doesn’t need to specifically be counselling: a group of friends or family, a local women’s group or pub quiz team could help in the same way. You could even start your own club.  

Online communities

If you’re not comfortable with face-to-face support, but would like to interact with others, there are online communities where you can discuss what you’re going through in a confidential environment. Lots of charities have a forum-style message board, including Marie Curie. They’re free and easy to use but you might have to create a username and password to join.

Can you get free bereavement support?

Many local groups who have charitable status will offer free or subsidised support. The NHS, too, offers talking therapies. You can see what they offer on their website here. You should keep in mind that there’s sometimes a long waiting time for free support, so it may be worth supplementing these therapies with something more immediate. The NHS has a helpful directory to find local support quickly.

Whichever way you grieve, it’s always best to talk about it. If you feel like your grief is becoming a factor in a larger problem with depression, your first point of call should be your GP. Head over to our Help and Support page for more general information about where to get support, including helplines.

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