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The Effects of COVID-19 on Bereavement Services

Figures obtained by state that there will now have been a million deaths in the UK since the start of the Pandemic. Many millions of people have grieved in difficult circumstances.

·       Most have been unable to say goodbye in the way that they would have wished

·       51% have experienced high or severe vulnerability

·       39% have reported difficulties in getting support from family or friends

Macmillan Cancer Support have studied the impact of COVID-19 on bereavement.
They state that "The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is having a significant impact on how people experience bereavement. For those who have lost someone from COVID-19, the events leading up to the person's death and the shock of their death will have been very distressing. For others who have lost someone during the pandemic, physical distancing will have prevented them from saying goodbye; holding the funeral they would have liked and getting face-to-face support from family and friends. In either situation, this is likely to have detrimental effect on the bereaved person's physical and mental health for some time". 

BACP studies report that the COVID-19 crisis will continue to affect bereavement services. The unique context of bereavement during a global pandemic has the potential for an amplification of distress, which needs to be considered by those providing support. Absence of opportunities to be close to those who have died, denial of the usual ritual and customs of funerals and multiple sudden deaths in hospitals and care homes, have all contributed to people being bereaved in shocking and sudden ways.

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