Support to bereaved families losing loved ones during COVID-19
Losing a loved one is always difficult, but the social distancing measures currently in place can make it especially hard.
The measures, which place restrictions on gatherings including visiting hospitals and attending funerals, means it is not possible to be there in person for family and friends during the pandemic.
Sheffield City Council has launched a new service to help people bereaved during Covid19. The aim of the service is to provide practical, emotional health and wellbeing support to residents of South Yorkshire bereaved during this time, and to signpost residents to other support available as required.
By providing this service to the public, it will help reduce the risk to those affected by offering timely and practical information and guidance following a sudden bereavement.
The service provides:
- One to one telephone support by a qualified worker
- Emotional and practical information, guidance and support
- Practical help in dealing with healthcare agencies
- Local information with regards to the current funeral process
- Help to overcome any feelings of isolation or anxiety
- Referrals and signposting to other services as required
The accredited service, an adult counselling helpline delivered in the city by Listening Ear, is available through a free phone number 0800 048 5224. More information on the support available can be obtained from the website www.listening-ear.co.uk/refer which is available for anyone registered with a GP in Sheffield.
Richard Brown from Listening Ear said:
“We have been providing the Amparo service, for people bereaved by a probable suicide local for approximately 18 months and we understand the mixture of trauma and bereavement.
“Listening Ear will work with people that have been bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic and we recognise that there will potentially be similar presenting issues.
“The practical support at this time will also help to reduce feelings of anxiousness and stress.”
Calls are welcome from anyone who has lost a friend, relative or loved one, from any cause – not just from Covid19. As well as being promoted by the Council, the number is also being shared by hospitals, funeral homes and faith groups.
Cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Sheffield City Council George Lindars-Hammond, said:
“Losing a loved one is never easy and it is especially difficult when we are not able to go through the usual grieving process such as saying goodbye or attending a funeral.
“It’s important not to shoulder the burden of loss on your own. This is why this service is so important. By talking to someone at Listening Ear, the team will help you with the practical help available and to listen to you to support you at this sad time. It’s especially hard when we are social distancing as the first thing people will want to do is to visit friends or family.
“By calling the service we hope having someone to talk to will make things a little easier.”