What Can You Do to Help a Bereaved Child?

Everybody's experience of grief is unique. Children and young people learn to cope with illness or death in their own way.

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: 08088 020 021 

 Child Bereavement UK

Child 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: 08000 288 840

 Childhood Bereavement Network

The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) is a national, multi-professional federation of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people.


 PAPYRUS (Prevention of young suicide)

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: 0800 068 41 41 (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.


Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544

 Online Bereavement Information for Schools





 Sudden Death – Including Accidents, Suicide and Homicide



 Supporting Bereaved children and young people with Neurodiversity diagnosis



 Supporting Bereaved Children and Young People in Other Languages


 Gender Identity – A Guide for Parents


 Support for Parents and Carers Affected by Bereavement

For adult bereavement counselling, please contact The Adult Bereavement Counselling Service at Hillingdon Mind on:  01895 271559

Online Support for Adults Bereaved as Children