The experience of losing someone close to us is something that we all face at different times in our lives. Loss can, in many ways, be life-changing with enduring psychological and emotional effects that can take time to come to terms with. It can throw up challenges in every area of life, from dealing with complicated administration, to the burden of finances, with the added challenge of returning to the workplace or school for good measure. The question is are we setup to support the bereaved in the UK?
In 2021, the UK Commission on Bereavement was established to examine the key issues faced by the bereaved across the United Kingdom. Last week the Commission published a report titled ‘Bereavement is everyone’s business‘ collating evidence from surveys, interviews and consultations and setting out its recommendations. The report affirms how bereavement impacts us all and sheds light on how the pandemic brought mourning into many people’s lives for the first time and in some cases in the most agonising way possible. It details how, across the four nations of the UK, we are simply not set up for death and identifies the urgent action needed to improve the experience of bereaved people. It sets out evidence from far and wide and defines how three out of five people (60%) interviewed by the commission reported that they felt they needed specialist bereavement support, but only 39% said it had been made available.
With 8 Principles for Change and detailed recommendations, the findings from 'Bereavement is everyone’s business' concludes that we must change as a society to support individuals through bereavement. From the immediate practical and financial support needed, to the longer term enduring psychological and emotional provision. The taboos surrounding death and loss still hold us back. The publication of the report however, is a significant step in the Commission’s aim to ensure that ‘Bereavement is everyone’s business’ and calls on organisations and individuals with interest in its work to support the implementation of its recommendations.
The report is available in a variety of formats to ensure it is accessible to all and these can be found linked below.
- The main summary report
- The key 250+ page full report
- Specific briefings – with key policy recommendations - for all four nations: Northern Ireland, Scotland, there is also a the longer list of recommendations for Scotland, Wales (including a Welsh Language version) and England, along with a UK wide briefing
- A specific briefing aimed at children and young people
- An easy read version
- A short film
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