Grief can be overwhelming after experiencing trauma.
Coronavirus has turned life upside down, for all of us. Grief can affect anyone, at any time, and in different ways. It is the normal process of reacting to loss.
This can be:
- physical losses like the death of a loved one
- symbolic or social losses, such as the loss of a job or opportunity
- loss of support
- losses associated with lockdown: a loss of relationships, recreation, physical closeness or social support.
However, grief as a result of death can be even harder for children and young people to cope with alongside these many other losses, especially if they have not encountered it before. Before Covid-19, we know that of 5-16 year olds, 1 in 29 had been bereaved of a parent or sibling - that’s at least one child in every average class. With 63,500 excess deaths recorded in the UK (at July 2020), we know that many more children and young people will be experiencing bereavement.
For those thousands of children, already vulnerable or newly vulnerable, they are now facing a new reality after lockdown. In many cases, young people have lost a loved one, lost the chance of opportunities they were about to take up, or lost their normal support systems. They may feel isolated or anxious about the future.
How we help young people
We are making sure vital support is available. Every year, we work with children and young people who are dealing with loss, bereavement and grief through our UK-wide services. Research and the experience of our practitioners tells us that it takes around six months for young people to show signs they are struggling to cope or come forward for help following loss.
Six months after lockdown began, our work is now more vital than ever.
Just like adults, children can carry grief and sadness with them. When it really grips children, it can take away their hope. We find opportunities to support, but also to play, so that they are not followed by grief all the time. We work with children and young people, in both individual and group support, who are dealing with loss, bereavement and grief through our UK-wide services.
We provide an advice line through which any adult concerned about a bereaved child can call for information and advice. We provide training and information for parents, carers or professionals to help them develop methods of helping bereaved children. We also campaign for and amplify the voices of children and young people to help make policy changes.
If you're a child or young person affected by grief and loss, or if you're a parent or carer worried about your child or you have been affected by our advert, find out how you can get help.
Too many children miss out on our vital support. We urgently need your help to reach more children and young people affected by grief and loss, so that they can start to recover. Donate now and support us to support them.
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Grief and loss
Helpful information from our practitioners