As volunteers or front line support workers, we may be coming into contact with people who have suffered a bereavement during the Covid-19 crisis. This could be a new situation for many of us and we are uncertain about how best to offer support.
Southampton Voluntary Services have produced a 45 minute online video on ‘Supporting the Bereaved’. This may be particularly useful if you are offering telephone befriending for someone who has been bereaved.
Click on the link to watch it. https://www.southamptonvs.org.uk/news/supporting-the-bereaved-training/
Another useful resource to improve our understanding of how people may experience bereavement is this Bereavement Guide for different religions which briefly explains the different beliefs and customs associated with death for different religious groups.
Finally, the Healthy Surrey website has some links to further guidance on Bereavement Support here It also provides a host of more general information about how to support the mental wellbeing of others and, importantly, looking after yourself.
Looking after yourself
If you are volunteering and have been affected by the difficult conversations you are having, please talk to a manager or fellow volunteer about your feelings. (Whilst respecting the confidentiality of the person you are supporting). Talking through issues is an important way of helping you manage your own feelings about the situation. There is also professional support available. If you live in Surrey, you can self refer yourself to Dorking Healthcare to access free individual or group therapy to support your mental health.