This year we welcome Children's Grief Awareness Week (16th - 22nd Nov 2017) with the theme #YoureNotAlone. With 1 in 29 school aged children becoming bereaved of a parent or sibling The Comedy Trust team are delighted to support this campaign.
We are one of many charities / organisations based in the UK providing groundbreaking services to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people most in need. However, too often young people and parents feel very alone in their battle with grief.
In light of this we've put together a list of tips you can use to show loved ones, friends and colleagues that they are not alone.
1. Listen: Be there, be present, listen. We all go through tough experiences in life however everyone underestimates the power of a good natter and a friend to lend an ear. One of the most reported issues people who experience grief face are others treating them differently or refraining from talking to them as to avoid difficult topics which may upset them. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be there for them, avoidance causes more problems than it solves.
2. Support: While you may not have the qualifications to offer professional guidance to those experiencing grief, showing signs of support can go a long way. Whether that's lending a shoulder to cry on, reminding them that you are there if they ever need anything or finding ways to make them smile. These are just some of many ways you can offer support, see The Guardian's article on grief for more information.
3. Guide: Many people who are grieving can be consumed by grief, the last thing they may be thinking of is support services or counselling. Brush up on your knowledge, find different organisations that are able to offer professional support,
4. Care: Remind those affected by grief to take care of their physical and emotional wellbeing. Physical and emotional wellbeing go hand in hand. We have one body and one mind, remember to take care of yourself, whether that's reminding them to eat to getting out for some fresh air, taking small steps to improve your wellbeing with go far.
5. Feel: It's okay to feel sad, shocked lost or lonely when you experience grief. It's also okay to feel grief days, weeks or even years after someone has passed away. What's not okay is ignoring those feelings and not seeking support. Be sure your loved ones are finding the support they need.
Grief can be a roller coaster of emotions to go through in your life, we each react to grief in different ways. however using these tips to show people experiencing grief that they're not alone will help make the first steps to improving mental health and wellbeing.
We had the pleasure to work alongside Child Bereavement Runcorn earlier this year hosting our Well Funny Sessions. We worked alongside young people at the centre to teach them the benefits of laughter and humour in their lives.
“The reassurance that all the young people gained from the experience restored some of their lost self-confidence and self-worth. They began to believe in themselves again and their ability to laugh at situations and circumstances. They felt the connection both with the adults in the room as well as other young people. This human connection enhanced their reassurance that they can trust again and begin to let go, even if only temporarily, of overwhelming feelings that have been contained." Barry Lyonette, Child Bereavement UK
Get involved and help raise awareness this week, head to the Children's Grief Awareness Week website for more information - www.childrensgriefawarenessweek.com/
For more information on the effect of grief head to - http://www.opentohope.com/renaming-the-stages-of-grief/