What is the Bereavement Service?
The Bereavement Service was established to provide support for those who are experiencing the loss of someone significant to them through death. The Bereavement Service is made up of specially trained bereavement volunteers and specialist bereavement counsellors. Support provided focuses on the unique needs of each grieving person.
What does the Service Offer?
Depending on the individual needs, appropriate support is offered by:
- Trained bereavement support volunteers who have skills and time to dedicate to your need
- Qualified bereavement counsellors with skills to assist the processes ofdifficult or traumatic loss
- Bereavement Support Groups that run during school terms. Bereavement Groups form an opportunity for those who are grieving to connect with others in an environment of support. Groups are lead by our experienced Counselling staff and Bereavement Volunteers.
- The support is offered according to the perceived needs of those contacted or referred. It may be that having someone listen and give understanding and confidential support, either at home or in the comfortable setting of a centre will be what is needed to negotiate the grief, stresses, pain or confusion created by the loss. Skilled, informed interventions may be helpful when difficult circumstances surround the loss and grief processes.
Who can be Referred to the Service?
Anyone who has suffered a loss through death may be referred to the Bereavement Service.
How May I Access the Service?
- Carers and family of Palliative Care patients will automatically be followed up by letter and phone call, two to six weeks following the loss.
- Those experiencing the loss of someone significant to them through a sudden death, or terminal illness, either occurring recently or in the past, may be referred to the Bereavement Service by their local doctor. This referral may stem from your doctor’s suggestion or your own request.
What Happens Following a Referral?
When the person organising your referral has forwarded it to the Palliative Care Service you will receive a phone call from either the Coordinator of Bereavement Services, or one of the Counsellors or Support Volunteers to arrange a meeting or an appointment. This support meeting or session is usually arranged for the Long Jetty Centre. Should transport be difficult please discuss with the counsellor who will strive to make alternate arrangements.
The Bereavement Service is available to you free of charge.
How do I know when Support is needed?
There are many circumstances in which it can be beneficial to seek support and/or counselling. It may be especially important to seek help when:
- Your sadness seems unending
- You are not sure about what to expect
- You have experienced more than one loss either through death or other ways, such as work, a pet, or anything you have been attached to
- You are experiencing feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that are not reducing with time
- You are feeling out of control at what is happening to you and/or are fearful of the future
- Other stress factors are evident, such as financial hardship, or family or relationship issues
- You are feeling isolated
- Your relationship with the person you have lost has been very close or conflicted
- You are feeling guilty about something you perceive you did or didn’t do for the person who died
- You would like more information about your grief experience
- You are supporting children who are grieving and are not sure what to do
- You are feeling stuck in your grief
- People around you are not comfortable with you talking about your grief
- Your pain is overwhelming you