Help coping with grief

Family and friends

Your family will be your closest supporters during the grieving process. However, you will need to remember that they will be grieving too.

You will find it helpful to have some close friends to rely on as well. You may need to ask for their help as people are often reticent about coming forward as they don’t want to intrude. They will need confirmation and reassurance that their help is wanted.

Often, people find that their family and friends are there in support for the first few weeks but often after a couple of months, there comes a time when they need to get on with their own lives.

This is when you may need to seek additional help from elsewhere in coping with bereavement.

Your GP

Your GP will be a useful source in coping with bereavement as not only will they know you and the circumstances of your loss but will be experienced in providing practical help and advice.

A church or faith group

Your local clergy will, if asked, be available to provide help and support as you come to terms with your loss and begin the healing process. This is the case even if you are not regular church-goers.

Bereavement groups

Bereavement groups can be very helpful in providing companionship and practical support. Your GP will know if there is a bereavement group operating in your area.

The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) will also be able to provides information about local counselling organisations. To access their website, please click here.

Bereavement counsellors

You may want help from a professional bereavement counsellor. Increasingly, local authorities are providing bereavement support services within their social service departments. There are also numbers of voluntary organisations who provide bereavement counsellors. Your GP will know what services are available in your area.

BACP will be able to provide information about individual counsellors who are accredited members. Their register is the first psychological therapists’ register to be accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body which is accountable to parliament. To access the BACP register, please click here.

You can also search the directory of therapy and counselling services provided by NHS Choices. To access the register, please click here.


Many of the hospices provide bereavement counselling. To find a hospice near you which may be able to help, you should contact the charity Help the Hospices, which supports hospice care across the country. To access their website, please click here.

You may also want to use the NHS’s directory End of Life Care Services to find a hospice in your area. To access their website, please click here.

Charities and other organisations

Many charities and other organisations provide practical help and emotional support to specific groups of people suffering bereavement.

Please look at the Lasting Post section on Helpful organisations for a register of charities and other organisations that provide support and help.