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Bereavement support for children

If you have worries or concerns about your child, the 565 Service at St Elizabeth Hospice can offer guidance and support for parents/guardians with how to best support children care cope with the death of a loved one. This may be through a telephone conversation, a family meeting to talk about the ‘big’ issues or directing parents to other appropriate support services.

Sometimes, at home we can only offer so much support to a child and even after a period of time a child may be finding it hard to adjust to bereavement. If they are feeling sad or angry all the time, having trouble with sleeping or eating, or struggling with school and friends, it may be time to get them further support.

The 565 Service accepts referrals for young people aged 5 – 18 who have experienced the loss of a loved one who was under the medical care of St Elizabeth Hospice. During the coronavirus pandemic we have extended our services and can also discuss, and in some cases accept, referrals from people who have not previously accessed St Elizabeth Hospice services.

We offer a confidential space for young people to make sense of their loss and encourage the development of their own ways of expressing emotions.

The support we offer is graded by the age of the young person:

  • For children aged 5-8 years old, we offer support and guidance to parents in how to talk about death and dying with young children, what to expect in grief behaviour, and explore ways of expressing emotions
  • For children aged 8-12 years old, we offer online parent and child sessions, giving opportunities to express emotions together using guided activities sent you via email or in the post. Where children prefer to have emotional support separate to parents, we offer letter or email correspondence with a trained member of staff or with other young people looking for support
  • For young people aged 13-18, we offer telephone and online counselling sessions depending on which they feel most comfortable with.

To make a referral to the 565 Service, please contact us on our emotional and spiritual wellbeing enquiry line, 0300 303 5196, Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm, alternatively, email on emotionalwellbeing@stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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