Need support?

Living with a terminal illness and looking for support? Our Support Line team are here to help. 

 Open today until 6PM

by phone

 0800 090 2309 Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Find out more about our Support Line.

Getting support

You don’t have to go through bereavement alone. There are lots of ways of getting support at this time, whether you prefer to talk to someone in person or join an online community.

Written information and guidance

There are several organisations and charities with bereavement information online and in print, including:

We also have a list of books that some people have found useful.

Online communities

If you’re not comfortable with face-to-face support, but would like to interact with others, there are several online communities where you can discuss what you’re going through in a confidential and safe environment. Lots of charities, including Marie Curie, have one of these. They’re free and easy to use but you might have to create a user name and password to join.

If you’re not comfortable contributing to discussions straight away, just reading what other people have written might be helpful.

Telephone helplines

If you’d like to talk to someone but aren’t able to or don’t want to leave the house, there are several telephone helplines you can call. These are usually charged at local call rates, although many are free, and include:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care (0844 477 9400)
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland (0845 600 2227*)
  • Lifeline (Northern Ireland) (0808 808 8000)
  • London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (0300 330 0630)
  • Samaritans (116 123)
  • Supportline (01708 765 200)

Individual support

Counselling and psychotherapy

Although some people are generally more comfortable talking to friends and family about their loss, many benefit from talking to a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.

If you’d like to find out more about professional grief counselling, try one of the following:

  • Some GP surgeries offer a free counselling service, although the number of sessions is usually limited. Ask your GP for information about local counselling services.
  • Local counselling services often have charitable status, and have a pay what you can afford policy.
  • Many companies run an employee assistance programme which entitles employees to a set number of free counselling sessions. Ask your manager or human resources department for information.
  • To find registered psychotherapists and counsellors in your area, search the It's Good to Talk online directory   or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy   website. Costs will vary. Many therapists have their own websites explaining how they work and what to expect from therapy.

Free bereavement support

You could also contact a support charity, such as the Bereavement Advice Centre, Cruse Bereavement Care, which offers support in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland. All three organisations have bereavement support volunteers. They aren’t accredited counselors, but they’re trained to support people trying to cope with grief.

Support is designed to work around you and is available face to face, over the phone or via email. The downside of free bereavement support is that there’s sometimes a longer waiting time.

Group support

Some people have found that talking as part of a group of other bereaved people helps them come to terms with their own feelings.

Many charities (such as Cruse Bereavement Care, above) will be able to help you find a bereavement support group if they don’t run one themselves. You could also search online for a group in your local area.

*Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. Your call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

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