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World News

Christian charity urges people to share their grief after one in four don't reach out

by Donna Birrell

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of adults in the UK who were bereaved in the last two years haven't turned to anyone for support.

That's according to a new report by MetLife which found that while a third of people had experienced some form of bereavement over that period, the majority - around 40 per cent - turned to their partner and spouse for comfort, many people experienced the loss alone.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) leaned on their friends and neighbours to help process their grief, one in six (17 per cent) turned to their parents, and one in seven (13 per cent) turned to their children. Six per cent of those surveyed chose to share their feelings of grief with a priest or someone in a religious capacity.

Yvonne Richmond Tulloch from the Christian charity At A Loss has been speaking to Premier about the findings :

“I think for the majority of people, it isn't a choice. I think a lot of people find themselves grieving alone, because there's such a lack of understanding in our society over how grief can affect people. Because of that ignorance,

people often find themselves feeling pretty isolated and not understood and therefore they keep things to themselves.”

Yvonne Richmond Tulloch founded At A Loss after she was suddenly widowed and found it difficult to access support : 

“I didn't know where to find the help that I needed. I was one of the lucky ones though because a couple of people did mention a couple of support services that literally turned my situation around. They were an absolute lifeline to me, but most people don't get that signposting and don't get that help.”

Yvonne urges people experiencing loss to find the support they need. She says At A Loss has 1500 different organisations that help people with grief and bereavement:

“The country is waking up to the fact that grief needs to be supported. We’ve got a lot of backlog of people who have been bereaved in the past, who have just braved it and got on with it and suppressed their grief, who are now realising they need to talk about that, and they need some help.

“What people are beginning to realise is that by talking about our loss, by processing it, they can work it through in a healthy way. So the difference that processing our losses can make to society is absolutely enormous.

“I pray that people reach out for help, and that they find the loving support that they need around them. Grief is different for everybody but we can support them along the whole of their grief journey to reach a place of comfortable remembering, and healing.”


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