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Do you seek or avoid conversations about grief at work?

For this year’s National Grief Awareness Week
(2 – 8 December) we have reviewed and updated the section on grief within our mental health awareness resources and consider why we may avoid conversations about grief at work.

Although the stigma surrounding conversations about mental health is gradually being reduced in the workplace as well as society, conversations concerning death and grief are still ones we, as a nation, are notably bad at.

The pre-Christmas timing of National Grief Awareness Week has been well judged as it is one of the times of the year when our feelings of loss tend to be heightened.

In the workplace, where it is often easy to divert a conversation to a work issue instead, our reticence to talk about grief is often due to awkwardness and not knowing how to start or conduct such a conversation. Having likely experienced grief ourselves, we know that each journey through grief is a personal one and affects us in different ways. While some of us may appreciate the opportunity to talk about it, others may prefer to keep it private.

National Grief Awareness Week is a good opportunity for employers to review their relevant policies, consider how they can equip managers with the skills to have compassionate conversations, and ensure the organisation is consistent in offering help and support to employees who experience grief.

The theme of this year’s awareness week is ‘Better Together’ with the aim of helping raise awareness of the support available to the bereaved.

With this objective in mind, we’ve updated the section regarding grief on our Mental Health Awareness Resources page and include it below. We have also provided a pertinent selection of articles which have appeared on our blog and include tips for having sensitive conversations and creating kindness in the workplace.

Resources to support grief

Bereavement guide on Mind’s website
Provides information on bereavement, where to go for support, and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.

Compassionate bereavement support
Practical guidance from the CIPD to help employers support grieving employees.

Griefcast
A podcast that examines the human experience of grief and death - but with comedians, so it’s cheerier than it sounds. Each week Cariad Lloyd talks to a different guest about their experiences of grief. Past guests have included Adam Buxton, Aisling Bea, Susan Wokoma, Robert Webb and David Baddiel.

Resources to help with grief
The Marie Curie charity suggests organisations to help you if you're going through a bereavement or if you want to support someone who's grieving.

The Good Grief Trust 
An umbrella charity run by the bereaved, for the bereaved. They offer help, support, advice and hope to anyone countrywide who has lost someone whether that be a child, partner, parent, sibling or friend.

 

3 articles which include tips for having sensitive conversations & creating kindness in the workplace

 

  1. The value of non-judgemental listening in the workplace
  2. Kindness and its role in mental health in the workplace
  3. How to have good quality conversations about mental health at work

 

If you would be interested in arranging a grief awareness workshop for your managers or staff, please get in touch with us to discuss.

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