We have received a lot of feedback from colleagues across the NHS asking for central guidance and support following the loss of a colleague, friend or family member during the Coronavirus pandemic.
People grieve in different ways and there is no right or wrong way to react to the death of a colleague, friend or family member. Many people find it helpful to reach out and talk to someone about their feelings, other may wish to deal with the loss in private.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have put together a suite of resources that aim to help you access support during what will be a difficult time for staff.
This guide includes resources to support you personally during a bereavement and resources that will help you as a line manager feel better equipped to support your staff, noting the cultural diversity of our workforce. You can also find support through:
Staff support line
If you need someone to talk to, we have introduced a confidential staff support line, operated by the Samaritans and free to access from 7:00am – 11:00pm, seven days a week. Please call 0800 069 6222 to speak to an advisor.
This support line is available to all our NHS colleagues who have had a tough day, who are feeling worried or overwhelmed, or who have a lot on their mind and need to talk it through. Trained advisers will be available to help with signposting and confidential listening.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to someone through text, you can access support by texting FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24/7.
Bereavement and suicide support apps
We are offering free access to a suicide prevention and support app for all NHS and social care staff:
Grassroots is a charity who aim to prevent suicide through open and direct conversations. Their free app is an easily accessible suicide prevention resource, packed full of useful information to help colleagues stay safe. Colleagues can use it if they are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
Support Now also has other general mental health and wellbeing self-help apps available.
10 steps for managers in the event of a death or suicide in service
We have created a 10 steps to help line managers with practical advice about what to do to in the event of a death or suicide in service.