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What is bereavement?

Bereavement is the process of grieving and letting go of a loved one, there is no right way to experience bereavement. Grief is a strong, and sometimes overwhelming emotion. Grief is a normal response when we lose someone or something that is important to us. You might experience different emotional and physical symptoms as you try to make sense of and come to terms with your loss.

You might experience some of the following, which are all a normal part of grieving:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety or feeling worried
  • Depression or intense feelings of sadness
  • Feeling stressed
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Having problems sleeping
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Isolating yourself or not wanting to talk about how you feel

Click here for some useful information on what it feels like when you are grieving, and how you can learn to cope with the bereavement.

What can you do if you have been bereaved?

The Childhood Bereavement Network  have the following information on what it can be like when you have been bereaved:

  • You might be feeling a huge range of emotions. You might not be feeling much at all.
  • You might be worried about what’s going to happen next. You might be feeling relieved.
  • You might be overwhelmed with sadness at one point. You might want to think about something else the next.
  • You might have people around you that want to talk more than you do. You might be struggling to find someone who understands.

Some of the following might be useful now, or in the future. If nothing seems to help, it can be useful to talk to someone you trust to get more ideas.

  • Tell people what helps make you feel better and keeps you feeling safe
  • Ask someone you trust for support and help whenever you need it
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what happened. If you need the facts to help you understand and to talking about it, it will help
  • Share with others how difficult it feels, even if it doesn’t make sense
  • Remind yourself that things will change
  • Tell an adult if you feel helpless and hopeless about the future. They can talk to you about what might help
  • Find different ways of expressing your feelings by exercising, writing, listening to or playing music, and carrying on with your hobbies and interests
  • Find out about groups and support for young people who are also coping with loss and change – and go along
  • Remind yourself that you’re not losing your mind, and that it’s normal to have ups and downs with your sleeping, eating, thinking, remembering, concentration and motivation
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for whatever extra help you may need in school
  • Tell a trusted adult if anyone is giving you a hard time. Keep telling the adults until things change for the better
  • Keep something special that belonged to the person and start a memory box or book to help remember them
  • Do something special on anniversaries that will help you remember and cope with what has happened
  • Talk to the person that has died in your imagination. This may help you say things that you never got the chance to say. It may also help you still feel connected to them in some way as they were a part of your life
  • Look after yourself and allow time for sleeping, eating, resting, thinking and relaxing
  • Laugh and have fun without feeling guilty or bad about it. This doesn’t mean that you are ‘over it’, have ‘forgotten’ or ‘couldn’t care’.

How to get extra support

Below you can find some information you may find useful to either support yourself or find support through a local organisation.

Mental Health in South Tyneside

It’s not unusual for children and young people to experience stress or anxiety caused by events like bereavement or parents separating. Most of these problems resolve themselves over time with non-specialist help and support, but if they don’t then the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service can help.The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is a range of services for children and young people aged up to 18. Click here to find out more about the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

logo2Children North East

Until the early 1990’s Children North East managed a number of children’s homes and provided many country and seaside holidays for children in need of fresh air and convalescence from the unhealthy, crowded urban environment of the region’s cities. Today the rights of children and young people remain at the centre of everything they do. This includes providing counselling and mentoring to young people who have mental health problems, and free and confidential information and advice on the issues affecting their lives such as sexual health, housing, unemployment and training. Click here to visit their website to find out more information.

Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)

The Children and Young People’s Service provides a single service to all children and young people aged 0-18 years living in South Tyneside and Sunderland who present with mental health difficulties. This includes children and young people who may have learning difficulties and those living in a range of difficult…

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South Tyneside Lifecycle Primary Care Mental Health Service

We work with children, young people and adults who feel anxious or experience depression and other common mental health difficulties. We offer a range of Talking Therapies, Employment Advice and support in recovering your ability to take part in social, educational and leisure activities.

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Mental Health in Sunderland

Young People and Mental Health in Sunderland

There are some things that you just can’t talk to your family or friends about. If you feel like talking to someone other than family or friends, there are lots services across Sunderland that can help you and here are some of them. If you are feeling suicidal and need to speak to someone straight away you can call ChildLine free on 0800 111 or HopelineUK free on 0800 0684141. You can also call 999 if you are suicidal and need urgent support.

Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)

The Children and Young People’s Service provides a single service to all children and young people aged 0-18 years living in South Tyneside and Sunderland who present with mental health difficulties. This includes children and young people who may have learning difficulties and those living in a range of difficult…

View this service
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Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (C CAMHS)

The Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NHS) offers professional support to children and young people 0-18 years who may display emotional…

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Washington Mind Young People’s Project

Sometimes it can feel like we don’t have any control over what we think or how we feel. But by making simple changes to our lives, we can make a real difference to our mental health. Feeling good is worth investing in and the best thing is that these simple tips won’t cost you much time or money…

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