Grief Awareness Week

Two people holding hands to support each other.

Trigger warning: this article discusses grief, bereavement and themes surrounding loss.  

This week is grief awareness week. This week takes place every year from the 02 – 08 December. The aim of this week is to open conversations and normalise grief. 

We’ve put together this blog to signpost support and resources available both within the University and externally if you are experiencing grief.  

What is grief?  

Grief is the emotional response to loss and can also be referred to as bereavement or mourning. 

The term grief is often used to describe the loss of person. However, grief can also be the loss of a pet, a relationship, employment, a miscarriage or fertility, employment or financial stability, or a loved one to serious illness or diagnosis. You can also experience grief for a period in your life, for instance grieving the loss of secondary school after moving to university. Anything that causes a sense of loss can be grief. It is a normal and human experience. 

Grief is a personal experience and different for everyone. There is no right or wrong way for a person to experience grief. Moreover, grief is not something you ever have to ‘get over’, it is something that in time you can learn to live alongside. You can process grief in your own time, in your own way.  

Below we have provided some help and resources to support you if you are experiencing and processing grief:  

  • Talk to the University’s Counselling and Wellbeing team who can offer you professional counselling, wellbeing and mental health support.  
  • Talk to the University’s Student Welfare team who can help you with any grief or personal difficulties you are experiencing.  
  • Talk to the University’s team of chaplains who can offer support.
  • The mental health charity Mind provides information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief. 
  • is the UK’s bereavement signposting website. They can help you find bereavement services and counselling.  
  • Peace of Mind Matters (PoMM) is a free service (run by Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB)) for anyone who would like advice and guidance in two areas. One is planning ahead to ‘put affairs in order’ for after death, it can be for anyone of any age. The other area of support is support for the bereaved to help them know what practical arrangements they need to do when their loved one has died. You can self-refer for this service.  
  • Samaritans have a 24/7 national helpline you can ring 116 123 whenever you need help and support.  
  • Cruse is a national charity that helps people cope after someone close to them has died. It exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. Services are free. The charity provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services. They also have a blog, which features topics like coping with grief at Christmas.  

We hope you find these resources helpful, make sure to visit the Guidance and Support pages on Essentials for more support and wellbeing information.  

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