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Raising awareness of the impact of grief

Raising awareness of the impact of grief

National Grief Awareness Week (2-8 December 2023) is dedicated to raising awareness about grief, providing support to those who are grieving, and fostering a better understanding of the grieving process. It’s about acknowledging that grief is a natural response to loss and aims to break the stigma surrounding this deeply personal experience.

How can you get involved this week?

Attend grief support events

A Grief Awareness Day event is being held on the Wednesday 6 December at the NNUH in the East Atrium – inpatients side, Level 1. The event is 10am- 3pm and designed to highlight how grief and loss is not just to do with death but also loss of identity, function, role, relationships etc throughout illness. The event is open to the general public and health professionals and will include a grief café, conversation cards, and tea and cake (donated by SPONGE and NNUH staff).

Offer a listening ear

Sometimes the most significant support you can provide is to listen without judgment. Offer your time and empathy to someone who is grieving.

The NHS People Plan encourages all NHS organisations to create cultures where our NHS people have regular wellbeing conversations with their line manager or a trusted colleague.  These wellbeing conversations could be held as standalone conversations with a colleague, or incorporated into existing conversations, such as regular 1:1s or during check-ins.  You could also touch base during team meetings or shift handovers to see if anyone would benefit from a follow up conversation.

NCH&C colleagues can find out more about wellbeing conversations on The Loop, just search ‘wellbeing conversations’.

Spread awareness

Use social media and other platforms to share information about National Grief Awareness Week, including facts about grief and resources for support.

Share personal stories

We encourage colleagues to share their experiences with grief, either through written narratives, art, or verbal discussions. This sharing can help you feel less alone in their grief journey.

Last year we produced a special podcast where host Miranda Gretton talked about her personal grief journey following the death of her brother four years ago. Psychological and Bereavement Lead at NCH&C, Tracey Dryhurst, joined Miranda to discuss the complexities of grief and the support available. Listen here.

Signpost to further help and advice