When more help may be needed
Most children and their families will be able to cope with the death of a close family member, especially if families can talk about what is happening, about their thoughts and feelings, and about the person who has died.
(Please click here for more information on what activities could help you).
Community-based local bereavement services for young people can offer support, and help children and families begin to rebuild their lives following a death in the family.
Many people worry about their children and they sometimes feel they should seek professional help immediately after the death. Children and young people will have a range of reactions that may cause concern at this time. These may include: not talking about the person who has died, deep sadness, rage, disturbed sleep, nightmares, lack of appetite or over-eating, lack of interest in previous enthusiasms, not wanting to attend school or see friends. Adults may have similar reactions.
Most of these changes will disappear gradually. However, if they persist or become severe (for example, a child almost stops sleeping or a teenager considers suicide as a way of rejoining the person who has died), it may be best to seek help. You could start by talking to your family doctor.
The Winston’s Wish Helpline (08452 03 04 05) is here to offer support, guidance and information to anyone caring for a bereaved child. We can talk with you about how your child is reacting and offer suggestions for further support if this seems appropriate.
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