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How to Support Each Other Through Loss and Bereavement

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The British Psychological Society (BPS) has published a document on helping one another to cope with death and grief, at a time when many people are experiencing the loss of a friend or family member due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has also released two videos, offering advice on using technology to speak to loved ones who are ill and advice on planning your digital legacy.

Losing a loved one under any circumstances is one of the most difficult emotional experiences that we go through, and it can be even tougher at a time when we have to self-isolate and socially distance from friends and family.

The leaflet ‘Supporting yourself and others: Coping with death and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic’ explains the thoughts and feelings that people are likely to experience after a loved one dies and the changes in behaviour that may result.

It discusses how people can cope with bereavement, acknowledging that everyone deals with loss in their own way, and it gives tips on what can help, including:

  • using digital technology to keep in touch with friends and family
  • allowing themselves time and space to grieve
  • not rushing into decisions about possessions and personal effects
  • trying to stick to a healthy diet and engage in some form of exercise

Straightforward advice is also available for people who are supporting a loved one through their grief.

Measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 mean that many people are unable to say goodbye in person, so the BPS has also produced a video explaining how we can use technology to talk to ill loved ones who we are unable to visit.

It launches alongside a video on digital legacy planning, as many of us store practically important and sentimentally valuable information using technological devices.

If important material is stored on password-protected devices, it’s important for people to make sure that their families are able to access material should the worst happen.

Dr Elaine Kasket, a counselling psychologist and member of the BPS’s COVID-19 bereavement task force that has produced all three resources, presents both videos.

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