24/7 Advice & Support | 020 3824 1268

24/7 Advice & Support | 020 3824 1268

Support and advice

Everybody’s experience of grief is unique. Children and young people learn to cope with illness or death in their own way.
What can you do to help a bereaved child?

It may be helpful to consider the following when supporting a child you care for:

  • Provide opportunities for them to communicate and express feelings.
  • Support in understanding the reality of what has happened.
  • Provide timely information in language that is developmentally appropriate.
  • Reassure the child or young person that they are not to blame and that all feelings are okay.
  • Try to keep normal routines and continue to help nurture their emotional, physical and cognitive development.
  • Remain consistent and reliable.
  • Take time to talk about what has happened. Let the child or young person know that they can ask questions. You don’t have to know the answer to every question, but let them know that you will find out.
  • Find an enduring connection with the deceased through memory-making.
  • Confronting the nature of terminal illness with children can be very difficult, but in doing so it can prepare children and young people for the death of a loved one, so that it is not experienced as a sudden shock or they feel they are to blame.

Here are some helpful links to support children and young people:

Winston's Wish

Winston’s wish provides emotional and practical bereavement support to children, young people, and those who care for them.

Helpline: 080 8802 0021

Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement  UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Helpline: 080 0028 8849

The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN)

CBN is a national, multi-professional federation of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people.

Prevention of young suicide (PAPYRUS)

PAPYRUS is a voluntary UK organisation committed to the prevention of young suicide and the promotion of mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Hope Line UK: 080 0068 4141 (for practical advice on suicide prevention).

Young Minds

Young Minds is the national charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.

Helpline: 080 0028 8849

Parents Helpline: 080 8802 5544

 

Sudden death - including accidents, suicide, and homicide

Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK offers advice and information on how to support a child or young person through a sudden death.

Helpline: 080 0028 8840

Winston's Wish

Winston’s Wish offers guidance on how to explain suicide to a child or young person.

Helpline: 080 8802 0021

Supporting bereaved children and young people who are neurodivergent

National Autistic Society

National Autistic Society provides support, information and practical advice for autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as their family members and carers.

 

Winston's Wish

Winston’s Wish have multiple articles on how to talk about death with a child or young person who is neurodivergent. This includes how they might understand the concept death itself.  

Helpline: 080 8802 0021

Supporting bereaved children and young people in other languages

Winston's Wish

Winston’s Wish offers several resources on childhood bereavement in languages other than English.  Their helpline also offers translators and they can use the Relay UK App if you have hearing or speech difficulties.

Helpline: 080 8802 0021

Gender identity - a guide for parents

Young Minds

Young Minds has information and advice on how you can support your child or young person if their experiences around gender identity are affecting their mental health. 

Online bereavement information for schools

Winston's Wish

Winston’s wish offers free online training courses to help teachers and school staff understand how to support grieving children and young people in their school.

Helpline: 080 8802 0021

Child Bereavement UK

The Child Bereavement UK Toolkit is a comprehensive, free-to-access set of online resources for schools, developed by Child Bereavement UK in collaboration with the London Grid for Learning.

Helpline: 080 0028 8849

Cruse Bereavement Support

Cruse offer a collection of resources for schools to help support children and young people through bereavement, including how to develop a school bereavement policy. 

Helpline: 080 8808 1677

Online support for adults bereaved as children

Child Bereavement UK

Child Bereavement UK offers a information to adults who were bereaved as children, discussing the impact this may have had.

Support for parents and carers affected by bereavement

Bereavement Counselling
Patient & Family Support