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Winston’s Wish highlights bereavement support for National Mental Health Awareness Week

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Winston’s Wish, the charity for bereaved in the UK, is backing National Mental Health Awareness week by joining the social media campaign and encouraging families to consider mental health.

This year, the theme of the awareness campaign is to focus on relationships, encouraging Britons to evaluate the quality of theirs.

Members of the public are being called on to make a ‘relationship resolution’; to assess how much time they actively commit to building and maintaining good relationships. The campaign also asks whether people can spend more time being spending quality time with and listening to those close to them.

Winston’s Wish helps families and young people who have been bereaved of a love one to come to terms with their loss and to lead a fulfilling future. Part of the support looks at relationships in the family unit, encouraging young people to talk about their emotions.

Almost all children and families are likely to be impacted by mental health issues at some point in their life.  National Mental Health Awareness week’s focus on relationships is an invaluable reminder of how it is “good to talk”.  Studies have shown that early and untimely bereavement has been associated with a negative impact on mental health.

There is strong practice based evidence that helping families to talk about their grief helps with long term outcomes for children and parents.  Through their partnership with Help for Heroes, Winston’s Wish are able us to provide crucial support for military families with children that suffer a bereavement at their time of need.

National Mental Health Awareness week is important in encouraging people to discuss emotions and relationships, including those in the military. Grief can be related to mental health issues and can impact a person’s health, wellbeing and relationships.

Sacha Richardson, Director of Family Services, said:

“National Mental Health Awareness provides an important reminder about how important it is to talk about emotions and relationships.   We each have our own comfort level in talking about these things, this can be particularly challenging within certain situations and settings.  Close family bereavement often makes it feel harder to talk about painful and difficult feelings and unwanted changes; as a result it is all too easy for a grief to be compounded by loneliness.”

Bryn Parry, CEO of Help for Heroes, said:

“I was four and a half years old when my father was killed on active service so I know only too well how vital Winston’s Wish support is to help those who have lost loved ones. You never forget losing a parent but, in time and with the right support, life does get better. Help for Heroes is honoured to be working with Winston’s Wish, providing the UK’s first dedicated provision for bereaved children of military families.”

Winston’s Wish offers a range of support to help children, young people and their families, as well as those in the military. This includes access to a national helpline, drop-in services across 9 locations in the UK, specialist publications and guidance as well as an ‘ask’ email support service.

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