SAIFCare Chat – bereavement support for all SAIF Member clients

23/10/2020   //   No Comments

SAIF thanks Paul Allcock for this thoughts. Paul is our Government Liaison, long-standing Exec Committee Member and Past President.

Over the years there have been many individual countries that have had to deal with life changing events. Be those through war or natural disasters. However, the effect of COVID-19 is the first time that the majority of people currently living in the UK have had to deal with anything on this scale. Only those who lived through the 2nd world war will have any memory of real hardship. The additional factor being that we can’t get away from it by travelling abroad as this disease has no boundaries across the world.

All we can do is endeavour to remain positive and hope and pray that we personally, and those we love, manage to survive this terrible pandemic and that we come out of it having learned just how lucky we are when our normal lives return. And if there is a new normal, that we embrace whatever that looks like and learn from our experiences to create an even better world for ourselves and our future generations.

The death of someone we love is always a traumatic experience, even when it is expected. But those feelings are hugely multiplied when it occurs suddenly or as a result of any external influence, such as an accident of some kind or as is currently the case with those dying from COVID-19. This pandemic has a knock-on effect to so many situations in our lives, but it is having a massive effect on the natural process of bereavement and how we mourn.

There is of course the limit on how many people can attend a funeral. This can mean even some family members are unable to attend, subsequently resulting in more people being deeply affected by the circumstances surrounding the death and the funeral itself. Of even greater concern is the lack of the long-term support networks which would normally be in place to help people through this most difficult of times.

No longer can a friend just drop in for a coffee and a chat. Many bereaved people are having to self- isolate and this is challenging enough without additionally having to cope with the loss of your closest companion. Even the usual support of being able to call on an experienced counsellor for face to face counselling is not possible in the vast majority of cases.

What we cannot do, is avoid the reality of what is happening today! The distress and turmoil that everyone is experiencing at different levels. What we can do is at least endeavour to make the most out of a nightmare situation.

To try to help ease this situation SAIF now has available the SAIFCare Chat service. This service is supported by GriefChat, created by bereavement experts. Individuals can click on the SAIFCare Chat box on the SAIF website and can chat directly to a specially trained bereavement counsellor.

This may not be the most appropriate way to access support for many people, particularly those who are not familiar with online technologies, but SAIF members are encouraged to make their clients aware of this service and to help them to access this completely free service which is available through the website Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm or by email out of these hours.

Alternatively, they are also able to access trained and qualified staff provided by Professional Help Ltd on the SAIFCare Helpline: 0800 917 7224 or by email:

We need to always be prepared to take care of those around us in most need.

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