In our previous blog on the topic of grief and the festive season, we looked at how the festive season can be a source of difficulty for those experiencing grief. We shared advice for both those who have experienced loss and those who might know an individual dealing with bereavement. The discussion of grief during the festive period is, however, a great deal more expansive than we covered, which is why we’d like to continue the conversation.
The significance of grief and its impact on individuals should not be underestimated, with many people experiencing isolation from others during their bereavement. 39% of all bereaved people, in fact, have reported difficulties in receiving support from both families and friends. When considered alongside the understanding that only 19% feel uncomfortable asking for help, it seems that there is a considerable number of those grieving who, despite communicating their need for support, still fail to receive it.
Nearly half (46%) of those who experience bereavement, would prefer to talk about their loved one as a way of celebrating their memory and processing loss. Yet, over half (53%) of individuals feel that not knowing how to discuss death and loss is a significant reason as to why few people want to talk about the subject, meaning that there is a notable desire for those experiencing grief to talk within a society that seems largely ill-equipped to do so.
As the festive season takes place, grief becomes even more challenging, increasing the need for conversation and support. It is estimated that around 13 million people across the UK will experience difficulties when dealing with grief over the Christmas period, meaning that individuals are likely to know of someone who will experience loneliness as a result of their bereavement this year.
Many of these statistics fail to take into account children, who are also likely to experience bereavement, with 5% of children in the UK losing a parent before the age of 16. Half of these children described a lack of appropriate support offered by their schools and colleges.
Those individuals who seek professional help in the form of bereavement services or mental health support from their GP are also more likely than not to experience issues. 52% of those who sought support from their GP experienced difficulties in doing so, with 56% having similar issues when reaching out to dedicated bereavement services.
There has been a call from bereavement-focused charities and initiatives for the UK government to increase support. Despite bereavement being such a wide issue, the services dedicated to helping those in need are failing to receive appropriate funding, exacerbating both physical and mental health issues within individuals, and placing further pressure on other medical services.
If you would like to talk to someone about your grief, our Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy team are here to help. We offer safe and non-judgemental spaces to discuss your experiences, supporting your needs as you overcome the experience of loss. To discuss your situation with us or to arrange an initial consultation, please reach out to us by emailing email@example.com or by calling us directly on 07751 271709.