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New Barnet Covid-19 bereavement support and counselling service

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Barnet residents will have access to a new bereavement support and counselling service from June 2020.

New Barnet COVID-19 bereavement support and counselling service

New Barnet COVID-19 bereavement support and counselling service

The service will be delivered through Community Barnet and Mind in Barnet. Residents will be able to access social and practical support and information as well as accessing immediate emotional support and bereavement counselling. The bereavement support and counselling service is available to adults who live, work or study in Barnet and are struggling with bereavement. You can reach the service online or via 0208 0160016 or bereavement@communitybarnet.org.uk

The UK and London Borough of Barnet are experiencing a considerable number of excess deaths over an unknown period since the coronavirus was detected.

Individuals bereaved during the coronavirus outbreak will experience very difficult circumstances: the pain of unexpected deaths, the impact of social distancing on allowing people to come together to mourn and commemorate, limitations on funeral attendances, changes to traditional ceremonial processes and grieving in social isolation. The impact of trauma on the population will not only be felt during the rise to and fall of the epidemic curve, but unless addressed properly, will be felt in the longer term and could be manifested through increased deterioration in mental health and the emergence of physical manifestations of deep-seated grief.

This service will be able to offer bereaved clients a variety of different offers of support:

  • Acting as the first point of call for residents seeking support, a telephone line will be open five days a week, able to respond to referrals and callers promptly; understand their needs and priorities; provide information and signposting relevant to bereavement such as arranging death certificates, funeral services, and financial support. Residents will be able to refer themselves and leave messages seven days a week.
  • Providing a social support service that could range from advising callers on where to seek information around bereavement related activities, as well as to up-to-date information and signposting with regard to existing and current Covid specific support.
  • If referred through to Mind in Barnet, residents will be able to access immediate emotional support by telephone, email, text, webchat and other digital means. The service will maintain regular contact with the bereaved as some people may not be ready receive support immediately but may need help after a while.
  • Residents will be offered weekly bereavement counselling sessions and this offer will include one-to-one and group support options.

Notes:

CommUNITY Barnet is a national award-winning community development and infrastructure charity committed to improving the lives of residents and communities. CommUNITY Barnet deliver an integrated wellbeing service in Barnet for people aged 16 and above as a single point of access through which residents can access clinical and community interventions subject to them completing an engagement tool.  As part of the Barnet Wellbeing Service CommUNITY Barnet were commissioned by London Borough of Barnet to deliver a COVID-19 emergency response service to adults aged 18-55 years and will bring some of that learning to ensure the successful delivery of this project.

Mind in Barnet is a registered charity supporting people living with mental health difficulties as they move towards a better life in society. Mind in Barnet also has significant experience in providing social and wellbeing support including as part of the Barnet Wellbeing Service and counselling advocacy service in Barnet.

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