Grief, loss and bereavement support for parents
When you lose someone you love, the emotions of grief may be powerful, even overwhelming. Yet everyone deals with grief differently and according to their own time schedule. Some people may find it useful to talk with someone. The GP is a good place to start. GPs can provide you with information about grief. They can also do a brief assessment to see if you might benefit from working with a trained mental health professional such as a grief counsellor or psychologist.
There are also plenty of high-quality online bereavement resources available to help you. This website lists a selection of them, alongside links to online and face-to-face services available to all South Australians.
You may like to try the free MyGrief App. This tool asks you a series of questions and then provides you with tailored strategies for dealing with your bereavement challenges. Developed by the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and available for use on Apple and Android mobile devices.
After someone dies, those closest to the person usually have a lot of practical matters to deal with. This can be challenging while dealing with grief. The following agencies have therefore provided easy-to-follow advice on matters such as notifying people, registering the death, and dealing with legal and financial matters, amongst others.
Grief is a normal human experience, but it can take time to work through. Here are a few basic things you can do to help yourself during the hard times.
If prolonged, grief can take its toll on physical and mental health. It can also affect your thinking, behaviour, beliefs, and relationships with others. These resources tell you what you might expect to experience during bereavement. They also list the signs that it may be time to seek support and advice from your GP.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and distressed, your GP may suggest you work with a qualified mental health professional with experience in grief therapy. You may be given a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan which allows you to claim a Medicare rebate for up to 10 psychological sessions per calendar year. (Note: Currently extended to 20 sessions until 30 June 2022 as part of the Government’s pandemic support initiative.)
Your GP may refer you to a specific psychologist in your area or you may wish to find your own. You can do this using the Find a Psychologist online directory (Australian Psychological Society). Search by type of issue, area of practice and geographic area.
Information provided includes:
Some palliative care services also provide bereavement support to family members after the death of a loved one. Contact the service to ask if this is the case.
You may not need the services of a mental health professional but might still benefit from sharing with others going through a similar experience. There are a range of bereavement support groups available in both face-to-face and online mode. Some are listed here.