Children and young people have a limited ability to put feelings and thoughts into words and tend to show feelings with behaviour rather than words.
When someone dies, a child’s sense of safety is rocked. They may not want to leave the family or parents. Coming to school may be quite overwhelming. They may behave as if they are younger: being very quiet or tearful or becoming very angry.
We can support bereaved young people and their families in a variety of ways, from individual short term counselling, peer support and group work. It may also be helpful for an adult from the family to book some sessions with the parent consultation service (attach link to leaflet here) to discuss how best to support the bereaved young person at home.
It is worth remembering that grieving is a process and that the young person might not be ready to talk about their loss right away. We have to wait until the young person is ready to talk before we offer higher level interventions. In the meantime, we keep checking in with the young person and make sure that they know that help is available when they are ready.
You can find more information and free support through the following services:
Brent Bereavement Services (this service is free for children and teenagers, but they do ask for a donation for supporting adults)
Bereavement Care and Support (for Harrow and Hillingdon only)
Winston’s Wish (support for bereaved young people)
Child Bereavement UK (support for bereaved young people and those who have lost a child)
The Compassionate Friends (Support for families who have lost a child)