Adult Counselling and Bereavement Services

Coronavirus: Dealing with bereavement and grief

The restrictions we have endured over the past two years are finally being removed and many people are looking forward to things returning to normal. For those bereaved during the pandemic, life will never return to the normal that was. The restrictions during lockdown made grief an even more difficult experience. People may not have been able to say goodbye the way they would have wished, may not have had the funeral they wanted or been able to attend a funeral, and may not have had the support of family and friends to lean on. People may have felt that somehow their grief, like life, was on hold. For many, the re-engagement with life, as it opens up, may also be difficult.

Who is the service available for?

Highland Hospice Adult Bereavement Services are available to anyone who lives in Highland over the age of 18, who has been bereaved by the death of a family member or friend.

Making contact

If you wish to make use of the service, or would like to discuss any aspect of what we offer, please write, phone, or email, and ask for the Bereavement Support Team. Your message will be passed to us and a member of the team will be in contact with you as soon as possible. You can also use this form to self refer to the service. Just complete it ad email it to us using the email below.

If you are a healthcare professional and would like to refer someone to the Bereavement Service you can use this form.

Generally speaking, when someone in whose care the Hospice has had direct involvement dies, a member of the Bereavement Team will make contact with the next of kin approximately six or eight weeks afterwards, to offer support to any friend or family member who feels they would benefit.

Enquiries can be made to our Bereavement Officer, on 07709 717586 or email bereavement@highlandhospice.org.uk.

Services available

Individual Counselling

Counselling is available for people in bereavement. This is usually offered on an individual basis and offers an opportunity, in a confidential setting, to explore and address the personal issues which may be making the experience of grief particularly difficult.

Working together in counselling is an evolving, negotiated, and agreed process that aims to be responsive to your changing and developing needs and wishes. You can read more about what to expect from counselling here. We also have produced an information sheet which aims to clarify the basis of our agreement to work together. It is intended to give you confidence that you know what to expect. You can download that sheet here or at the bottom of the page.

Counselling support is offered by telephone and webcam (Zoom), and in person at the Hospice.

Below are some groups which have previously been run by the Bereavement Service, which we hope to reinstate in the future.

If you're interested in any of these groups, please make contact with the service by phone, email or letter, and we will be in touch when the relevant group resumes.

‘Taking steps’ - A walking group in Inverness for people who have been bereaved.

'Living with Grief' - Counselling Support in a group. Sometimes, for some people, meeting in a group is preferable to one-to-one meetings. For more information please click here.

‘Cooking in Company’ – Support in a group for people who have experienced loss and found themselves struggling to enjoy food and cooking. For more information please click here.

Please make contact if you would like to be kept informed about any of these groups.

Support for children and young people

Have a look at the Crocus Group web pages. Crocus Group is a Highland Hospice service which offers support to bereaved children and young people aged 5-18yrs across the Highlands, regardless of the cause of death of the person they have lost.

Tributes to the person you love but no longer see

Highland Hospice has on-line 'In Memoriam' book called Always in Our Hearts. It is a place to share memories and photos of those we love who have died. Whilst we may no longer see them, they nonetheless remain in our hearts. You can either flick through the book in its entirety or search for a specific person’s dedication.

For those who prefer not to be online, there is also a physical Book of Remembrance into which a loved one’s name, and a particular memory, can be entered. The books for current and past years are kept in a quiet room in the Hospice and you are welcome to look at them at any mutually convenient time.

Time to Remember

The Hospice Bereavement Support Service offers Memorial Events in collaboration with the Hospice Chaplain, in Inverness and other parts of the Highlands for anyone who wishes to remember a loved one. Everyone is very welcome to attend any or all of these events and to join us for refreshments afterwards. Information about these events will be publicised on this page of the Hospice website, on Facebook, and in local press throughout the Highlands.

Our services will continue to be offered on-line and can be accessed via the Hospice website or Facebook pages.

Chaplaincy

The Hospice Chaplain offers spiritual and pastoral support to people in bereavement. This support is non-denominational and is offered to people who have a specific religious faith as well as to those who would not describe themselves as ‘religious’.

The Hospice Chaplain can help with questions about funerals and can liaise with faith communities around the Highlands.

Social Work

Bereavement can raise many practical issues. The Hospice Social Work Team, can offer a wide range of advice and support.

Information and advice