Further resources

We know that managing everyday life in the midst of bereavement, both as an individual and as a line manager or team leader, can be complex and unexpected. We’ve collated these extra resources to help you navigate through this difficult time.  Everyone grieves differently, especially given the diverse cultural backgrounds of our NHS staff, therefore this range of resources comes in a variety of formats to best support you in your individual situation. 

Understanding bereavement

Bailey and West King’s Fund (2020) Why compassionate leadership is vital during COVID-19 and simple things leaders can do.

Dying Matters. Coalition of individual and organisational members across England and Wales, aiming to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life

Mind 2019: Bereavement. Understanding grief and bereavement (including from suicide), how to manage and where to get help. 

Mindtools (2020)Practical advice on leading grieving team members, including acknowledging feelings, showing empathy, avoiding giving prescriptive advice and ensuring, as far as possible, that people’s workloads don’t become overwhelming.

Oskarkilo (2020)Resources on the psychological impact of dealing with death and bereavement on police officers, staff and emergency services workers (easily accessible and applicable to anyone working in health and care). Practical advice, alongside ‘do’s and don’ts’ for leaders and managers.

Sudden 2020: COVID-19 bereavement. COVID specific guidance on experienced grief and supporting yourself or someone else, particularly during social distancing. Advice where you are thinking about suicide or worried about someone else. Memorialising someone during social distancing. 

Additional support during bereavement

Acas 2020: Time off for bereavement.Support and guidance for policy around bereavement from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). Offers guidance on good practice in managing leave, suggested processes for when a member of staff dies and offers a template bereavement policy.

BEAD (Bereaved through Alcohol and Drugs) – provides information and support for anyone bereaved through drug or alcohol use. 

BPS 2015: Early intervention for traumaEvidence-based recommendations on early interventions for trauma. This includes the benefits and guidance on debriefing taken from RCTs and NICE guidance based on experience debriefing after traumatic events.

Child Bereavement UK – provides support for anyone who has lost a child, and for children themselves who are bereaved. Call: 0800 028 8840 

Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) – provides information and support for anybody affected by the death of a baby.

The Compassionate Friends – offers a range of services supporting bereaved parents and their families. 0345 123 2304 

Direct.gov. Guidance on practical elements of bereavement including applying for probate, registering a death, informing DVLA, benefits, support and tax. 

How are you feeling NHSis an easy-to-use resource that has been developed with NHS staff to help bridge a gap in understanding and enable us to talk openly and regularly about emotional health, assess the impact emotional wellbeing has on ourselves, our colleagues and on our patients and enable us to action plan to enable more good days than bad. 

Widowed and Youngoffers support to people under 50 who have lost a partner. 

Suicide and self-harm awareness and support

Staying Safeoffers compassion, kindness and easy ways to help keep people safer from thoughts of harm and suicide, seek support and discover hope of recovery through powerful videos from people with personal experience 

Suicide – If you’re worried about someone else (Samaritans).Guidance including what to look for, what to do, how to have the difficult conversation and general support during coronavirus.

Suicide – Supporting someone who feels suicidal (Mind). Includes who may be most at risk, how to help, talking about feelings, making a support plan and useful links.

Suicidal feelings (Mind 2020). This includes what they are, possible causes and how you can learn to cope immediately and in the longer term.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) offer support for people who have been bereaved by suicide. The have a dedicated helpline, local support groups and many more practical resources.

We need to talk about suicide’ is an e-learning course developed by HEE and PHE that aims to provide support for volunteers and health care professionals, enabling them to recognise the early warning signs of suicide, support patients and their families and offer additional health services as required in times of need.

Zero Suicide Allianceaims to improve support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of suicide and promoting free suicide prevention training which is accessible to all. The training aims to enable people to identify when someone is presenting with suicidal thoughts/behaviour, to be able to speak out in a supportive manner, and to empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support.