Loss and bereavement support during the Covid-19 pandemic

As of Tuesday, May 12 2020, the UK death toll coronavirus death toll has reached 32,692. This is the highest in Europe.

But behind this heartbreaking number are the people left behind having to deal with their grief. We hear stories on the news of Covid-19 sufferers who have died alone because their loved ones haven’t been allowed to visit them due to the restrictions.

Some people will be finding it hard to cope with their loss, so I’d like to share some advice from The British Psychological Society.

They have published a document on ways to help one another to cope with death and grief.

They have also released two videos, offering advice on using technology to speak to loved ones who are ill and planning your digital legacy.

Losing a loved one under any circumstances is really tough, and it can feel even worse at a time when we have to self-isolate and socially distance from friends and family, we’d otherwise be able to hug and hold close.

The document ‘Supporting yourself and others: coping with death and grief during the Covid-19 pandemic’ explains the thoughts and feelings that people are likely to experience after a loved one dies, and the changes in behaviour that may result.

It discusses how people can cope with bereavement, acknowledging that everyone deals with loss in their own way, and gives tips on what can help, including:

  • Using digital technology to keep in touch with friends and family
  • Allowing themselves time and space to grieve
  • Not rushing into decisions about possessions and personal effects
  • Trying to stick to a healthy diet and engage in some form of exercise

There is also advice available for people who are supporting a loved one through their grief, as you may feel like you are not sure what to do.

Measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus mean that many people are unable to say goodbye in person, so the BPS has also produced a video explaining how we can use technology to talk to ill loved ones who we are unable to visit.

Additionally the BPS have releases a video on digital legacy planning, as many of us store practically important and sentimentally valuable information using technological devices.

Dr Elaine Kasket, a counselling psychologist and member of the BPS’s Covid-19 bereavement team has produced all three resources and presents both videos.

Click on the links in this post to get access this information. I am sending lots of virtual love and support to anyone who is grieving during this horrible time.

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