If you know someone who has recently been bereaved, you may be wondering how you can support them. People who are grieving struggle with many emotions as a result of their loss and often feel isolated and alone. Supporting someone mourning the loss of a loved one can be difficult—you may feel worried about getting in touch with them, or unsure of what to say, but your support can make all the difference.
So, in light of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day (10th October), we wanted to raise awareness of the effects of grief on people’s mental health and share advice on how to support someone going through grief.
Supporting those who are grieving
The days immediately after someone has died are likely to be a very emotional time for family and friends. The bereaved may feel shocked, confused, angry, and overwhelmed.
At this time, it can be of great comfort to a grieving person to know their friends and family are there to offer care and support. Here’s how you can support a loved one who is grieving:
Stay in touch
You may find yourself avoiding talking to a friend or family member who is grieving, as you might be worried about saying the wrong thing. But keeping in touch will show you care and will make them feel supported and loved.
Here are some tips on getting in touch with someone who is grieving:
- Thoughtful gestures such as inviting your friend or family member over for coffee or sending a text to say you’re thinking of them can be very supportive.
- Send a card of condolences to them.
- Check in on them regularly in-person or via text to show them you are there for support if needed.
- If you knew the deceased, talk about some memories you have of them – this will be comforting for the bereaved.
- Ask how they feel and let them take the lead in talking about their emotions if they wish to.
- Invite them on days out with you.
- Make future plans with them to show long-term support.